Under increasing pressure due to a stock sales scandal, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has temporarily resigned as chairman of the Senate Intel Committee.
Fox News reports on the details: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the development in a brief statement Thursday, saying: ‘Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation. We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.’”
“Later, Burr confirmed that he would be stepping aside. ‘This morning, I informed Majority Leader McConnell that I have made the decision to step aside as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee until this investigation is resolved,'” Burr said in a statement Thursday. Burr went on to say, “The work the Intelligence Committee and its members do is too important to risk hindering in any way. I believe this step is necessary to allow the Committee to continue its essential work free of external distractions.”
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Fox News concluded: “Burr’s attorney said Thursday afternoon the senator is ‘cooperating’ with the inquiry, ‘When the issue arose, Senator Burr immediately asked the Senate Ethics Committee to conduct a complete review,’ said attorney Alice Fisher. ‘He has also been actively cooperating with the government’s inquiry, as he said he would. From the outset, Senator Burr has been focused on an appropriate and thorough review of the facts in this matter, which will establish that his actions were appropriate.’”
Burr has been caught under a harsh glare, as the implication is that he personally profited from sensitive data he had access to in his position as head of the Senate Intel Committee. He made stocks sales immediately after a January classified briefing on the coronavirus.
He resigned from his committee slot on Wednesday after the FBI served a search warrant to him at his DC-area home. His cell phone, papers, computers, and other data were collected by federal agents. The warrant was served on Burr’s lawyer and was approved by the highest officials at the Trump DOJ. The Los Angeles Times first reported these details. Agents served an earlier warrant to access information on the senator’s iCloud account. Communications between Burr and his stock broker are also being combed.
Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) has fallen under the same microscope for the same reason.
Her office had this to say: “Senator Loeffler has forwarded documents and information to DOJ, the SEC, and the Senate Ethics Committee establishing that she and her husband acted entirely appropriately and observed both the letter and the spirit of the law,” a Loeffler spokesperson told Fox News, adding, “The documents and information demonstrated her and her husband’s lack of involvement in their managed accounts, as well as the details of those accounts. Senator Loeffler has welcomed and responded to any questions from day one.”
This is a bad time for Burr and worse for Loeffler, as she is facing an upcoming primary against GOP favorite Rep. Doug Collins. Collins made quite a name for himself as a tough GOP questioner at the Schiff impeachment hearings.