The Justice Department is looking into those suspicious stock transactions by senators before the coronavirus-inspired market crash. Sen. Richard Burr cashed out up to $1.5 million in mid February, while Sen. Kelly Loeffler didn’t just sell off millions in stocks, she also invested in online meetings technology that has benefited from more people working from home.
Burr has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to look into his transactions … but he’s also heard from the FBI, CNN reports.
“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 told CNN in a statement. “When this issue arose, Senator Burr immediately asked the Senate Ethics Committee to conduct a complete review, and he will cooperate with that review as well as any other appropriate inquiry.”
It’s true that the laws are shamefully weak and lots of things that are wrong are not illegal. But senators are barred from trading based on non-public information, and apparently the Justice Department—Donald Trump’s Justice Department—thinks there’s a chance that Burr met that standard. There’s no word who else the Justice Department may be looking into on this front.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Jim Inhofe made stock transactions during the same period but those transactions look less suspicious than Burr’s and Loeffler’s.
Burr’s larger problem may be that North Carolina voters say he should resign.