A newly unsealed document reveals that retiring North Carolina Senator Richard Burr made over $164,000 from stock trades that were made after he received briefings on COVID-19 before it was declared a pandemic.
Insurance and telecommunication companies’ shares held by the Republican Senator’s wife Brooke were sold on January 30, 2020, just hours before the Trump White House announced its ban on travel out of China.
A week later, Burr co-authored an op-ed suggesting that the United States was better prepared for public health threats because of the work of the Senate Health Committee and the Trump administration.
Five days later, Burr purchased $1.1 million in US Treasury funds, which are often purchased as a hedge against a decline in the stock market. The next day, Burr began selling off nearly all the stock held both by him and his wife.
The newly unsealed FBI search warrant affidavit said that Senator Burr, who is retiring from the Senate at the end of the year, cited his discomfort with the market, world events, and Bernie Sanders’ surge in the Democrat primary as the reasons for his actions.
The FBI agent who wrote the affidavit also notes that Burr discussed his concerns over COVID-19 and how it would affect the stock market and the supply chains. However, the agent noted that Burr didn’t make any reference to briefings or information he received in his role as a Senator.
Burr sold about $262 million in stock from his account or 95 percent of his holdings. Meanwhile, about $804 million in stock, or 58 percent, was sold from his wife Brooke’s account.
According to the affidavit, Burr was able to avoid losing $87,000 with his “well-timed stock sales,” resulting in a profit of over $164,000.
A redacted version of the affidavit was released in June. The new version has fewer redactions, including significant portions of the probable cause for the warrant.
The warrant was approved and executed. But according to Senator Burr, the DOJ dropped its insider trading investigation against him last year.