Friday, March 20, 2020

The Self-Interest of Richard Burr Ain't Unfortunately Unique

ProPublica reported late yesterday afternoon:
Senators Burr and Loeffler
Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions.
As the head of the intelligence committee, Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security. His committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings around this time, according to a Reuters story.
A week after Burr’s sales, the stock market began a sharp decline and has lost about 30% since.
On Thursday, Burr came under fire after NPR obtained a secret recording from Feb. 27, in which the lawmaker gave a VIP group at an exclusive social club a much more dire preview of the economic impact of the coronavirus than what he had told the public.
Senator Burr's not the only public servant to use inside knowledge to benefit himself. Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia (appointed to the seat on January 6) is coincidentally married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. The Daily Beast article that outed her stock sell-off points out that she and Burr were in the same Senate briefing that warned about what was probably going to happen to the stock market because of the Coronavirus:
The Senate’s newest member sold off seven figures’ worth of stock holdings in the days and weeks after a private, all-senators meeting on the novel coronavirus that subsequently hammered U.S. equities. 
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) reported the first sale of stock jointly owned by her and her husband on Jan. 24, the very day that her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials, including the CDC director and Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on the coronavirus.


Anonymous said...

You didn't even mention that Tucker Carlson on Fox has called for Burr to resign immediately. Fox News!

Anonymous said...

Didn't mention that Democrat Daine Feisnstein did the same.

Anonymous said...

Lachlan Markley, a reporter for The Daily Beast, analyzed Feinstein's filings and concluded that her sale was harmless.

"This one is clearly innocuous as well," Markley wrote. "In fact, her husband's $1M-5M sale of shares in biopharma company Allogene actually came at a low-point in its stock value, as noted by Barron's a few weeks ago(.)"

Allogene has been working on a cancer treatment therapy.

Mike said...

NC Policy Watch has an interesting turn on this tory. Essentially, there's a possibility that Burr could be forced to resign and someone like Virginia or Mark Meadows could be designated to replace him. Oh no, you say, Cooper wouldn't do that. Read the piece.