Justice Department Looking Into Senator's Stock Sell-Off

Sen. Richard Burr's stock transactions — 33 on a single day: Feb.13 — present a unique challenge for investigators because he is a member of Congress.

4/1/2020 4:57:00 AM

Sen. Richard Burr's stock transactions — 33 on a single day: Feb.13 — present a unique challenge for investigators because he is a member of Congress.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr sold off a large amount of stocks before the coronavirus market crash. The FBI will assess whether he was motivated by nonpublic information.

An insider trading investigation hinges on whether a person made stock transactions based on relevant private information.As chairman of the Intelligence Committee and a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Burr may have received private information about the coming pandemic.

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"Was [that information] something that you and I, if we were shareholders of that company, would have reasonably expected it to be considered significant at the time?" said Doug Davison, a former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyer, laying out a key question that investigators would have."The investigation needs to be surgical in the sense that you need to really focus like a laser on what information was provided to the Congress folks. Was it material? Was it nonpublic?"

Burr's stock transactions — 33 on a single day: Feb. 13 — present a unique challenge for investigators because he is a member of Congress.First, as chair of the Intelligence Committee, the senator may have been privy to classified information, which complicates an investigation.

Second, as a senator, Burr may be able to cite the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution, which gives lawmakers protections related to their official duties."It's a provision in the Constitution that is designed to give members of Congress freedom to debate, deliberate, to speak without fear of intimidation or threats from the executive branch," said Katie Goldstein, who formerly headed up the investigations into securities fraud in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York."There could potentially be litigation over ... briefing materials that may have been provided to senators or congressmen. If it was provided for the purpose of their committee work or introducing legislation, you could see litigation being raised as a shield [from] having to produce those kinds of materials."

Third, insider trading investigations typically center on a single company and specific information. The information Burr received may have been about general economic concerns, and his sell-off involved a broad unloading of stocks across numerous economic sectors.

"It's not prohibitive in terms of making a case, but it certainly is harder when it is generalized information like that," said Joon Kim, the former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.But Kim added that these types of challenges are generally not the main focus of investigators.

"The DOJ and SEC don't go into investigations saying, 'Oh, this is this is going to be challenging, so let's not do it,'"Kim told NPR."You go in saying, 'Is there something here that deserves investigation?' ... It seems like they have concluded that it does deserve investigation."

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And Goldstein explained that there are ways investigators could handle issues like classified information or the Speech or Debate Clause: by finding information that showed a subject's state of mind when that person made stock transactions, such as"an email that someone sends to someone else or a text message or a phone call that that someone has with a third party like their broker or a friend. ... With a court order or by finding the right person to interview, the government can get their hands on [that information]."

Burr has previously said he made all of his trading decisions based on public information he learned from watching CNBC."The law is clear that any American — including a Senator — may participate in the stock market based on public information, as Senator Burr did," Burr's lawyer, Alice Fisher, emphasized in a statement."Senator Burr welcomes a thorough review of the facts in this matter, which will establish that his actions were appropriate."

Burr has also asked for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate his conduct. That secretive committee did not respond to an NPR inquiry. Read more: NPR »

They gave these idiots inside information on the coronavirus and they took advantage of it But nothing will happen to him or the other sociopaths who sold stocks. Where’s a guillotine when you need one? NPR keeps posting this, but what about Senator Feinstein doing the same thing? Is it possible for NPR to be fair and consistent in reporting? If so, we'll soon see multiple NPR posts about her selling stock.

What about the immediate impeachment process for bill deblasio for his endangerment of the public? Running the MTA, cabs and uber, lack of PPE for public service workers, schools open far too long, etc. Barr’s DOJ? Oh, he’ll be fine. Laws only apply to Dems and uppity women who disobey the menfolk 😒 Excellent

Mr. Burr should be temporarily replaced while under investigation. Mueller report: V2, page 52 BurrMustResign Lockhimup This guy is a cancer. Huge recipient of NRA (Russia) money. Was leaking Senate Intel Committee info directly to trump in 2017/2018. Like Devin Nunes but more stealthy. Completely in the tank for trump.

Prosecute the filthy rat. Hope he goes to prison for a long, LONG time. .SenatorBurr SenatorLoeffler & SenateGOP secret GOP only CoronavirusPandemic briefings quite profitable for them InsiderTrading is still a crime & RuleOfLaw still matters in this country. PerpWalks reqd for these Traitors now! TreasonForProfit

There is nothing intelligent about the senate Good. Hope all the senators involved look at criminal charges. Here's an idea... treat him like he's anyone else. It's not that effing difficult. It only presents a challenge if the investigators are willing to be corrupted. Watchdogsniffer If only it were unique

And he traded on insider info. Yeah. Really tough. Now do Pelosi buying $5M of Amazon after learning that retailers are going to be shut down. FBI arrest him MrJonCryer Please explain why it's a 'unique challenge to investigators'? Don't the InsiderTrading laws apply to members of Congress just like everyone else?

Might as well forget it. Burr is Republican and the GOP holds control of the Senate. Learn your lesson and let it go. corruptGOP PBS/NPR took $75M from the emergency $2 trillion bill. This is what America did NOT get because of PBS/NPR: 300,000 Covid-19 test kits 4,166 ventilators 21,428 hospital beds 192,307,692 masks 357,483,318 pairs of medical gloves 12,500,000 bottles of hand sanitizers

He's a REPUBLICAN member of Congress. Challenge? Looks like a pretty clear cut case to me.

Justice Department Begins Probe Into Senators Who Sold Stocks After Coronavirus Briefing: ReportThe lawmakers denied any wrongdoing, despite the optics Get em What are the odds that they find no wrongdoing? 10-1 ! Good!

DOJ probing Sen. Richard Burr's stock trades before coronavirus market dive, sources sayDOJ investigating the stock trading activities of Sen. Richard Burr before the markets took a dramatic plunge amid coronavirus worries, sources confirm to ABC News. Yes Good! LOCK THESE CRIMINALS UP.. THERE PROFITING OFF THE DEATH OF AMERICANS

Stock futures rise slightly, extending market's rebound from massive coronavirus sell-offThe overnight action followed a strong session on Wall Street, with the Dow jumping nearly 700 points. There is no reason to buy right now, the market should be going down more. Earnings will take a massive beating The market is definitely not pricing in 10-20% unemployment and a massive cut in consumer spending. The market is so fake

DOJ investigating at least one lawmaker's stock trades ahead of coronavirus-driven declines, report saysThe Department of Justice is investigating stock transactions made by at least one lawmaker earlier this year before the market's steep, coronavirus-driven declines, CNN reported. LOCK HIM UP!!!

Exclusive: Justice Department reviews stock trades by lawmakers after coronavirus briefingsThe Justice Department has started to probe a series of stock transactions made by lawmakers ahead of the sharp market downturn stemming from the spread of coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the matter. If Diane told her husband that’s still insider trading. I say this as a democrat. This is the only thing that matters to them; their money and their asses landing in jail. Good. Go ask Martha Stewart for her poncho pattern, jailbirds. the market is not down because of cv. it's down because the gov't shut down business.

Justice Department investigates lawmakers who dumped stock: CNN - Business InsiderThe Justice Department is reportedly investigating actions by US lawmakers who dumped stocks before the market plunged over coronavirus fears Yes long awaited let's see how this unfold if justice will be served by the SEC Hmm, really wonder what Bill Barr will decide. I’m guessing he’ll say “nothing to see here” Really? How will u find them? Quilty or innocent? If it was a common person you’d throw them under the fed prison.