The FBI seized Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr’s cell phone Wednesday night after serving a search warrant as part of an investigation into whether the Republican made illegal stock trades based on insider information about the coronavirus pandemic, a law enforcement official told The Los Angeles Times.
The Times reported that FBI agents served the warrant on Burr at his home in the Washington, D.C. area. Burr turned over his phone to investigators, according to the newspaper.
ProPublica reported on March 19 that Burr sold between $628,000 and $1.72 million worth of stock from his portfolio on Feb. 13, shortly after he received a briefing about the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made public statements after receiving those briefings suggesting that the federal government would handle the coronavirus pandemic well. The stock market and U.S. economy went into free fall as a result of the pandemic as federal and state authorities have imposed regulations limiting business activity.
Burr has denied wrongdoing and volunteered to provide information to the Senate Ethics Committee for a review of his stock trades. He said in a statement on March 20 that he made the stock sales based on information he saw in public news reports.
CNN reported on March 29 that the Justice Department was investigating Burr’s stock transactions in coordination with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The report said that the FBI had been in contact with Burr.
A spokeswoman for Burr declined The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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