March 20, 2020

Senators Must Be Investigated: Dumping Stocks After COVID-19 Classified Briefing Is Insider Trading

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, along with three other Senate colleagues, should be ashamed and investigated for insider trading if reports alleging they dumped their stock after receiving a classified briefing on coronavirus Jan. 24 are true.

If it is true, which it appears to be, Burr should also be removed as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to reports he sold $1.6 million of his stock after receiving the closed door briefing.

He, along with Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, Democratic California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe were privy to information that the rest of the nation was unaware of regarding the crisis brewing with COVID-19 and basically that’s called insider information.

The first outlets to report the Senator’s stock sell-offs were ProPublica, The Daily Beast, along with others but it didn’t take long for those stories to cascade across the nation’s social media stratosphere.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson was one of the first to suggest that Burr must resign if he can’t explain why he sold the stock. Carlson said during his Thursday night show that “maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, then he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading.”

Carlson is 100 percent right.

It is unconscionable that Americans, who are now faced with an uncertain future and who had no knowledge of the magnitude of the classified briefing are now paying the severest economic penalty to quell the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, while these lawmakers have appeared to have profited from it.

Moreover, Burr who did nothing to really investigate the FISA abuse and actions of the FBI and Department of Justice when it began its probe into President Donald Trump’s campaign and the now debunked theory it colluded with Russia, won’t see allies coming to his side on this scandal.

He didn’t back his colleague in the House Rep. Devin Nunes, who was then head of the House Intelligence Committee, but instead sided with Democrats. Eventually, the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in his investigation the extensive abuses by both senior FBI and DOJ officials. Nunes was vindicated and so were others who investigated the abuses but Burr was way behind the curve.

As Molly Hemingway, with The Federalist, argued in her recent column: 

When Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., could have used support for his brave and later vindicated work uncovering wrongdoing at the Department of Justice regarding the surveillance of Page, Burr instead joined Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and activists in the media in strongly defending the Department of Justice’s applications to spy on Page. He told media outlets he saw nothing wrong with the applications and that there were “sound reasons” to spy on Page. The media lapped this up and used it as a way to further bash Nunes and the few overseers who sounded the alarm about wrongdoing.

A Justice Department Inspector General later confirmed and elaborated on the problems Nunes and his House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence found in those applications to spy on Page, two of which were later deemed invalid and another two of which are still under review. The inspector general catalogued numerous errors and failures in the securing of those wiretaps, including the falsification of evidence and 16 other major problems and errors.

As for Senator’s Feinstein, Loeffler, and Inhofe, they should also be investigated. There are no excuses for what has allegedly been uncovered.

Rep. Doug Collins, who is running against Loeffler for the Senate seat, laid it out perfectly when he said he was sickened by the news that Senators had profited off the crisis.

“People are losing their jobs, their businesses, their retirements, and even their lives and Kelly Loeffler is profiting off their pain? I’m sickened just thinking about it.”

Well so am I and by the Tweets responding to the news that these lawmakers had sold off their stocks, it appears the American people are too.

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