Senators sold off stock before market losses from virus began


According to the report on US -based news outlet NPR, North Carolina Senator Burr, also the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned his close circles three weeks ago to prepare for dire economic effects of the coronavirus, according to a secret recording obtained.

Federalist Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway argues that in his role as chief of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr offered credence to the Russian collusion conspiracy theory and took actions to protect those who abused their power to conduct a deep-state coup.

Loeffler, whose husband Jeffrey Sprecher is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock on the same day that the senator attended a briefing from two members of the coronavirus task force.

Others also sold investments after the administration privately briefed senators but before the administration acknowledged publicly how bad things were. Sen. H.R. Clinton had dumped millions in stock just after keeping it to herself that she'd been informed of an impending pandemic.

She is one of at least four lawmakers reported to have sold large blocks of shares in the stock market at the same time most Washington officials were seeking to reassure Americans the coronavirus would not prove catastrophic. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and James Inhofe, R-Okla.

Notably, Burr was one of just three senators to oppose a bill in 2012 that forbid senators and their staff from using private information for stock trading.

"This is a ridiculous and baseless attack", Loeffler tweeted.

In a Thursday night Twitter post reacting to the news of the stock dumps, former Democratic primary candidate Andrew Yang said: "If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest". "Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisers without my or my husband's knowledge or involvement".

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Meanwhile, Albania reported its first coronavirus infections on March 9, in a father and son who had returned from Italy. Some 12,000 patients were treated in these temporary hospitals, according to the city's COVID-19 control headquarters.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr sold up to $1.7 million worth of stock on February 13 in 33 separate transactions after offering public assurances the government was ready to battle the virus.

The latest revelations come after an investigation by ProPublica into his financial filings. Most of the stocks were in hotel and resort companies.

His office said that his sales were unrelated to any information he received by virtue of his position as intelligence committee chairman."Senator Burr filed a financial disclosure form for personal transactions made several weeks before the US and financial markets showed signs of volatility due to the growing coronavirus outbreak", a Burr spokesperson said in a statement.

He wrote, "COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation".

Yet even Fox News host Tucker Carlson has called for Burr's resignation.

U.S. Rep. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-New York, tweeted, "As Intel chairman, [Burr] got private briefings about coronavirus weeks ago". It's unknown how much profit Burr made on the stocks, as lawmakers are only required to report the total value of the sale. "He needs to resign". He also told the group to curtail their travel.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson also called for Burr's resignation.Feinstein made transactions on January 31 and February 18, selling between $1.5 million and $6 million worth of shares in Allogene Therapeutics, a biotech company.

Inhofe sold five stocks, worth between $180,000 and $400,000, in January, and another for $50,000-$100,000 in February.