Daily Kos’ Kerry Eleveld reported on Part I of this outrage earlier today.
In sum, Republican Sen. Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned a group of wealthy insiders that the coronavirus would be a big, serious deal — even as Donald Trump was downplaying the danger at every turn.
Well, it gets worse.
Even as he was reassuring the public that COVID-19 was no biggie, he was dumping stock faster than 45 fills his Lex Luthor Underoos.
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 $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 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.
Even worse, some of the stocks Burr sold — such as Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Extended Stay America — have predictably been pummeled in the wake of the coronavirus’ spread.
Hmm, that sounds a little like, I don’t know, insider trading.
Must be nice to have a jump on the financial carnage. Sounds like he’s a good person to know if you want to be a greedy sow.
UPDATE: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called on Burr to resign:
As Intel chairman, @SenatorBurr got private briefings about Coronavirus weeks ago.
Burr knew how bad it would be. He told the truth to his wealthy donors, while assuring the public that we were fine.
THEN he sold off $1.6 million in stock before the fall.
At the very least he should be forced to resign.
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