Federal Senate Intelligence Leader Resigns Over Corruption Allegations

Senator Richard Burr resigned Thursday from the position of president of the Intelligence Committee of the Upper House due to an investigation against him and other legislators who allegedly sold large amounts of stock shares shortly before the collapse of financial markets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Burr’s decision and anticipated that it will take effect tomorrow.

“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as chairman of the Intelligence Committee,” said McConnell, who indicated that they agreed that “it would be best” for that commission while the investigations are pending resolution.


Local media reported that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized the senator’s mobile phone on Wednesday as part of the investigation into the sale of shares.

According to CNBC television, Burr told reporters on Thursday that the FBI visited his home in Washington, DC, as part of that investigation, and asked to let it develop.

Burr, who assured that he is cooperating “from the beginning”, considered that the investigation is a “distraction from the hard work of the committee” of Intelligence.

The sale of shares was first unveiled by ProPublica, an independent, non-profit investigative journalism organization, and, according to media reports, senators had access to special reports between late January and early February. from federal agencies that contained serious warnings about the coronavirus.

Burr, a Republican senator from North Carolina, ditched shares worth between $ 600,000 and $ 1.62 million in February, shortly before the Wall Street Stock Market went into free fall and hit record lows since 1987.

In a statement issued on March 20, Burr defended his behavior, assuring that he relied “exclusively on public news” to guide his decision to sell shares.

Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has tweeted that Burr “had private reports on the coronavirus weeks ago.”

“He knew how bad it would be. He told the truth to his wealthy donors, while assuring the public that they would be fine. He then sold 1.6 million shares before the collapse. He has to resign,” said the congresswoman.

According to the press, also the Republican senator Kelly Loeffler, married to the president of the New York Stock Exchange, made several operations of sale of shares with an estimated value between 1 and 2.5 million dollars.

For their part, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, a senator from California, and Republican James Inhofe, who represents Oklahoma, also carried out massive sales of their stock assets before the abrupt downward turn in financial markets.