FBI serves warrant on senator in investigation of stock sales linked to coronavirus

Via:  Trout Giggles  •  4 months ago  •  33 comments

By:   Del Quentin Wilber, Jennifer Haberkorn (Los Angeles Times)

FBI serves warrant on senator in investigation of stock sales linked to coronavirus
Warrant marks a major escalation of the investigation of stock trades by lawmakers as the coronavirus spread.

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?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcalifornia-times-brig By Del Quentin Wilber, Jennifer Haberkorn May 13, 2020 6:54 PM UPDATED7:17 PM


Federal agents seized a cellphone belonging to a prominent Republican senator on Wednesday night as part of the Justice Department's investigation into controversial stock trades he made as the novel coronavirus first struck the U.S., a law enforcement official said.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on the lawmaker at his residence in the Washington area, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a law enforcement action.

The seizure represents a significant escalation in the investigation into whether Burr violated a law preventing members of Congress from trading on insider information they have gleaned from their official work.

To obtain a search warrant, federal agents and prosecutors must persuade a judge they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The law enforcement official said the Justice Department is examining Burr's communications with his broker.

Such a warrant being served on a sitting U.S. senator would require approval from the highest ranks of the Justice Department and is a step that would not be taken lightly. Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment.

A second law enforcement official said FBI agents served a warrant in recent days on Apple to obtain information from Burr's iCloud account and said agents used data obtained from the California-based company as part of the evidence used to obtain the warrant for the senator's phone.

Burr sold a significant percentage of his stock portfolio in 33 different transactions on Feb. 13, just as his committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings and a week before the stock market declined sharply. Much of the stock was invested in businesses that in subsequent weeks were hit hard by the plunging market.

Burr and other senators received briefings from U.S. public health officials before the stock sales.

A spokesperson for the FBI did not return phone messages seeking comment. A spokeswoman for Burr declined to comment. Burr has said he does not plan to run for reelection in 2022.

Burr's sell-off — which was publicly disclosed in ranges — amounted to between $628,000 and $1.72 million. The stock trades were first reported by ProPublica.

After the sales became public, Burr said that he would ask the Senate Ethics Committee to review them.

Burr is not the only senator who has come under fire for dumping stock as the virus neared the United States.

In late February and early March, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) sold stocks valued at between $1.25 million and $3.1 million in companies that later dropped significantly, including ExxonMobil. She also bought shares in Citrix, which makes telework software.

Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat to fill a vacancy and faces an election later this year, said after the sales became public that she and her husband would divest all individual stocks.

Burr, a longtime supporter of federal programs responsible for dealing with a pandemic, sits on two Senate committees that got early briefings on the coronavirus — the Intelligence Committee and the Senate committee that handles health issues.

The health committee received a briefing on the virus on Feb. 12, one day before his stock trades.

The same day Burr sold his stocks, Burr's brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, sold between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of six stocks, according to documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics. Fauth serves on the National Mediation Board, which provides mediation for labor disputes in the aviation and rail industries.

Burr has denied coordinating trading with his brother-in-law.

In 2012, Congress prohibited lawmakers from acting on intelligence they learn because of their privileged position, such as briefings with high-level federal officials.

Under the STOCK Act, lawmakers are required to disclose their stock market activity but are still allowed to own stock, even in industries they might oversee.

The law passed the Senate in 2012 in a 96-3 vote. Among the three senators to oppose the bill was Burr.

Times staff writer Sarah D. Wire contributed to this report.


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Trout Giggles
1  seeder  Trout Giggles    4 months ago

More republican shenanigans....

Trout Giggles
2  seeder  Trout Giggles    4 months ago



It Is ME
2.1  It Is ME  replied to  Trout Giggles @2    4 months ago

Are Democrats that have made millions while in office …. in general that is ……. topical ?

Trout Giggles
2.1.1  seeder  Trout Giggles  replied to  It Is ME @2.1    4 months ago

Name one Congress Critter that hasn't made millions in office. These people knew about the coming pandemic and bought and sold stock based on their intelligence briefing. That is against the law. Do you understand that part?

Be forewarned...if you have come here to troll I will not tolerate it.

2.1.2  evilgenius  replied to  It Is ME @2.1    4 months ago
Are Democrats that have made millions while in office …. in general that is ……. topical ?

Do you have any proof any of them made millions from insider trading or are you just pissing in the wind? I mean there was talk when the news on Burr originally broke they were also looking at Feinstein and another Republican I can't remember right now. Also a Georgian State Republican was (or is) being investigated.

Trout Giggles
2.1.3  seeder  Trout Giggles  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.2    4 months ago

Ooo...good point about Feinstein!

It Is ME
2.1.4  It Is ME  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.2    4 months ago
It Is ME
2.1.5  It Is ME  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.1    4 months ago
Name one Congress Critter that hasn't made millions in office.

You Just made my Case ! jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

Thanks ! jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

"Be forewarned...if you have come here to troll I will not tolerate it."

How 'bout you be the "First", to Stop that..... Scam ? jrSmiley_32_smiley_image.gif

Trout Giggles
2.1.6  seeder  Trout Giggles  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.5    4 months ago

Then you're done here, right?

It Is ME
2.1.7  It Is ME  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.6    4 months ago
Then you're done here, right?

Should I be ?

2.1.8  evilgenius  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.4    4 months ago
There ya go.....Yet you want me to remember EVERYTHING ….. for you ?

Have you ever added anything of value to any post here?

Raven Wing
2.1.10  Raven Wing  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.8    4 months ago
Have you ever added anything of value to any post here?

Never once. Civil and respectful discussions are not his interest.

2.1.11  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.6    4 months ago

meh, I would have hit the eject button already.

2.1.12  igknorantzrulz  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.7    4 months ago

Should I be ?

not that you need any ass istance, cause being annoying is about ALL U do, believe it or knot, some other s , are annoying as hell asz well.


who wrote the book,

your'e 'still unable to reed because you saw red, soyou grasped for a reed to inflate your shallow E

z go, and found ewe had know i dea or id is somehinderance of another brothers sourced inspirational constipational... go with the flow, don't be the log jamb, cause of intestinal blockage due to a running out your as mockerage , as cervical fortitude doust dunn elude those that wish to be evinrude motor boated on the remoated posibility that you mite lose your remote,n it ticks off n bugs till u itch the scratch with those soft asz bunny ears on the inner thighs of humanity, as it is a plausible possibility that you could be granted an ability , and hampered by this disability, is the incapability to adequately fit in to the awkward situations created within the outside 'external expo de factos, that ain;t no slow motion russian hoax of a hoax cracked and drawn from the Safe Egg zactly wear you in certs your key, in 2 the retisin of flotsome and jetisome utters that steer the rutterless into gutters spiked with hanging hiddens from within, as it is an original


a stirrin

the white kettle popped corn, while yoube searchin fore the bbc tele for uh oh for pyros gets ,some wetter than what its all a drought

sew , i f u stitched it all to gether, watts it all a bout                  


Sparty On
2.1.13  Sparty On  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.7    4 months ago


2.1.14  gooseisgone  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.2    4 months ago
Do you have any proof any of them made millions

They may not have made it off of insider trading but, I would say if you look at the net worth of a Senator or Representative when they enter office and then after they have spent 3 or 4 terms.  I believe you will find most of them to be multi millionaires (both Republican and Democrat).     

3  Kavika     4 months ago
The law passed the Senate in 2012 in a 96-3 vote. Among the three senators to oppose the bill was Burr.

Hmmmmm, well that is interesting.

4  XDm9mm    4 months ago

Personally, I'd like them to grab ALL the devices of EVERYONE in Congress and see exactly who was leaking to the press, who was colluding with the Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese, Iranians, who was profiting from inside information, not only now but at ANY TIME in their career.

Then we mere mortals would realize that with few if any exceptions, they all essentially work for themselves.

4.1  evilgenius  replied to  XDm9mm @4    4 months ago

If it was everyone, and depending on who was investigating, I'd be mostly fine with it. Every time a politician says they are going to "drain the swamp" I grimace. Politics turns everyone into a swamp dweller, if they weren't one before.

Sparty On
4.2  Sparty On  replied to  XDm9mm @4    4 months ago

Yep, spot on.    

Let’s not stop with Burr.    Let’s investigate all of them.    Shake the trees, rattle the bushes as it were.   See what falls out.    Two thing promise if that happens.    

Burr won’t be the only one who did it and Democrats will be on the list as well.

5  Veronica    4 months ago

This is not a surprise to me and with no consequences it will continue.  Investigations mean nothing,,, 

Trout Giggles
5.1  seeder  Trout Giggles  replied to  Veronica @5    4 months ago

Not in this day and age

Raven Wing
6  Raven Wing    4 months ago

Looks like a bit of interest is growing about the insider trading of some of the Senators before the stocks began to tumble. Some of the Senators and their friends were able to save their a$$es on the stocks that were sure to take a bad hit due to the Covid-19. Could it really mean that there might be a real investigation of what went down with the insider trading? Could there really be some real legal action taken for such crimes, or will they just be over looked and pardoned like the rest of Trumps good 'ol boys?

It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

Trout Giggles
6.1  seeder  Trout Giggles  replied to  Raven Wing @6    4 months ago

I gotta say...it would be really hard to not sell off stocks in companies that you know are going to suffer from a pandemic after you were told that this pandemic is going to hit the tourism industry especially hard. I am not defending these people...but damn! You're sitting on all that money that is going to do down the drain.....

6.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1    4 months ago

maybe Trump can Explunge their sentences, along with his own, cause you know this has gotta leave a question mark , and he had to throw his family the bone, in a marrow miss    America is yet again dethroned, like momma, out the trane of thought, Trump and Betsy couldn't think of,.being bought

Sparty On
6.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  igknorantzrulz @6.1.1    4 months ago
America is yet again dethroned

Hit the bricks baby

i hear Venezuela is

nice this time of year

Trout Giggles
6.1.3  seeder  Trout Giggles  replied to  Sparty On @6.1.2    4 months ago

There's no need for that kind of comment. It's insensitive and rude

6.1.4  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.3    4 months ago

i'm melting, i'm melting

Besides, maybe Miss Venezula was hotter than miss America, or did you miss that one 2, ?

Cuz Sparty apparently did

Sparty On
6.1.5  Sparty On  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.3    4 months ago

Nah, it’s just haiku

here is more for me and you

and for the usual crew

6.1.6  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sparty On @6.1.5    4 months ago

i get high

on que

7  devangelical    4 months ago

at least somebody in the trump administration was paying attention to the intelligence briefings, for the wrong reasons though.

Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
8  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    4 months ago

Disappointing but not surprising.  And my crystal ball tells me that Senator Burr and the other 3 huckleberries are not the only ones that took advantage of knowledge or circumstances unknown to the public.

9  Freewill    4 months ago

While the 2012 STOCK ( Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act was supposed to stop or discourage such practices, it is interesting to note that less than a year after it's passage, Congress and the Obama Administration rendered it somewhat toothless as several articles at the time like THIS one point out.

Citing concerns over the "security" of posting the financial data online, the bill eliminates a requirement that personal financial disclosures of 28,000 high level federal employees be made publicly accessible online. It also reverses "two critical components" of the original act: mandatory electronic filing of PFDs by the president, his cabinet and members of Congress, and the creation of a publicly accessible database.
"Without the provisions, the STOCK act is made toothless," writes Dan Auble with the  Center for Responsive Politics . "Insider trading by members of Congress and federal employees is still prohibited, but the ability of watchdog groups to verify that Congress is following its own rules is severely limited because these records could still be filed on paper—an unacceptably outdated practice that limits the public's access. This is not true disclosure."

This has been going on for decades on both corrupt sides of the aisle with even Obama and Hillary Clinton being accused of it at one time.  Amazing how Congressmen are somehow magically much better investors than you and I!  You can bet that this goes MUCH deeper that just  Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe with respect to Covid-19 matters.

Before the STOCK Act 60 Minutes did an expose on Congressional insider trading involving, among many others, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner during the formulation of the PPACA legislation.  In fact, that expose had a lot to do with the passage of the STOCK Act shortly after.

I hope that these matters are indeed closely investigated and that these people all end up doing the time that we mere citizens would for the same or similar infractions.


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