COVID-19 Stock Trade Investigation: FBI Searches and Seizes US Senator's Property
MAY 13, 2020 - 10:01PM
WASHINGTON -- In a major escalation of the investigation into the sale of stocks just prior to the public's widespread understanding of COVID-19's potential impacts, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation served a warrant to search the residence of Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. The lawmaker turned over his cell phone device for search, while other property was seized for the investigation, according to an anonymous source in the LA Times article breaking the news earlier this evening.
Another source, from within the FBI, disclosed that in days prior, Sen. Burr's iCloud account was searched under warrant, and that the evidence found there was used when the FBI asked a judge to find reasonable cause to issue the subsequent search warrant for the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman's home and property.
As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr likely had access to privileged information that could have given him and other congresspeople insider trading details. The Senator made up to $1.72 million in stock trades the day after receiving briefings from public health experts, according to the ProPublica story that first reported on the Burr's potential criminal activity. The same day Burr dumped his stocks, the senator's brother-in-law made up to $280,000 in similar stock trades. Despite the red-flags shared with the committee, the senator then reassured the public that the coronavirus would be managed without cause for alarm.
- Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
- The committee received intelligence from public health officials on February 12, 2020.
- The following day both Sen. Burr and his brother-in-law dumped up to $2 million in stock believed to be at risk due to the coming COVID-19 pandemic.
- A judge must believe there is a reasonable chance that a criminal act took place in order to issue a search warrant.
- Apple was served a search warrant several days before the FBI searched Burr's residence and the FBI states that evidence found in his iCloud account was used in petitioning the judge for the warrant served today.
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