Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on March 30 promised to cooperate with any investigations into the stock sales he made after receiving closed-door briefings on the threat of the new virus from China, the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
Alice Fisher, an attorney representing Burr, said in a statement that Burr would welcome a review of the sales, which amounted to between $628,000 and $1.7 million.
Burr previously asked for the Senate Ethics Committee to probe the sales, Fisher noted, and “he will cooperate with that review, as well as any other appropriate inquiry.”
“Senator Burr welcomes a thorough review of the facts in the matter, which will establish that his actions were appropriate,” she added.
Neither Ethics Chairman Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) nor Ranking Member Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) have returned repeated requests for comment.
The statement came after an anonymously-sourced report claimed the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were probing the sales made by Burr and other lawmakers in January and February. A SEC spokesman declined to comment. The Department of Justice didnt respond to a query.
Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC, said during an appearance on CNBCs “Squawk Box” on March 30 that people shouldnt make stock sales with private information.
“Anyone who is privy to private information about a company or about markets needs to be cautious about how they use that private information,” Clayton said. “Thats sort of fundamental to our securities laws, and that applies to government employees, public officials, etc., and the STOCK Act codifies that.”
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act) bars members of Congress from using “non-public information” for making a private profit, including insider trading.
Burr said in a statement earlier this month that he “relied solely on public reporting to guide my decision to sell the stock.”