Burr Avoids Another Ball On Pandemic Stock Sales, Stay On Track To Comfortable Retirement
In case you missed it, Politico reported last night that Senior U.S. Senator from North Carolina Richard Burr dodged another potential bullet in regards to the sales of controversial shares he and his wife (and his brother-in-law) continued at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a judge’s ruling denying media access to any search warrant executed by law enforcement officials against Burr related to the case could set a problematic precedent. This is from the story of journalist Josh Gerstein:
A federal judge’s decision to deny access to the records of a search warrant issued in connection with an investigation of Senator Richard Burr (RN.C.) could limit public access to information on the public corruption and other criminal investigations in which the Justice Department reviews lawmakers’ actions, but ultimately decides not to lay charges, legal experts have said.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Chief Justice Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington dismissed a request from the Los Angeles Times to see what information prosecutors presented to a federal magistrate to obtain a search warrant last May for Burr’s phone. The warrant was said to have been issued as part of an investigation into whether Burr used information from official briefings on the dangers of the coronavirus to conduct stock transactions that made him money or had it saved from the major market downturn early last year.
Radical language in Howell’s decision suggests that when no charges are laid, search warrant applications and related documents should be kept secret forever.
Around the same time a year ago, Burr’s news was decidedly less optimistic. In mid-May 2020, media reported that his phone had been seized by federal agents. This is from a CNN report at this time:
âThe warrant and subsequent cell phone seizure mark a notable milestone in the investigation of whether Burr has sought to capitalize on information he obtained from non-public briefings about the spread of the virusâ¦.
Several other senators from both sides also sold and bought shares ahead of the market downturn that resulted from the pandemic, although it is not clear who else the Justice Department might turn to.
Congress passed the Stocks Act in 2012, which prohibited lawmakers from using inside information for financial gain. Under insider trading laws, prosecutors would have to prove that lawmakers negotiated based on material non-public information they received in violation of their duty to keep it confidential. “
Burr was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee when the stock sales controversy erupted – a position he quickly ceded to fellow Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in response to the inquiry . Interestingly, while he is, by all indications, now in the clear when it comes to his controversial stock sales, Burr has never claimed the top GOP slot on the committee – which is now chaired by Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia, and of which Rubio is vice-chairman.
It is speculated, however, that if this is the only loss Burr suffers as he looks forward to a comfortable retirement in January 2023, former law equipment salesman turned millionaire Pol will be able to look back on 28 profitable years. in Washington. In 2018, the Center for Responsive Politics Burr’s estimated net worth between $ 6.4 million and $ 8 million, although other websites rated it at a lower level. The pension of a US senator can also reach $ 139,200 per year.
Burr has not publicly commented on the judge’s decision.