Charlotte, NC – Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is slowly drowning in evidence of corruption. Several weeks ago, Burr came under scrutiny for sales of stock prior to the market downturn. Burr was not the only Senator, as we wrote about several during that period. However, his situation is much different than the others.
Last night, the LA Times reports that the FBI servers a search warrant on Senator Burr and seized a cell phone in the process. In total, Burr performed 33 different stock sales on February 13th. Estimates are that the total money involved could be as high as $1.7 million.
The NPR has an article that shares Burr’s stock trading history. The data was compiled by Dartmouth College. It shows that Burr typically performed 3.2 transactions per quarter. But in February, he performed 33 in one day. This was as he was receiving daily briefings on the coronavirus. It certainly looks concerning.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Senator Burr’s brother-in-law also sold stock on February 13th. The amounts of those sales have a reported value of $97-280,000. It continues to show a trend of questionable actions.
Burr has denied any wrongdoing. He has said he relied on public knowledge for the transactions, but is that true? Apparently the FBI is investigating and it will be interesting to see the evidence they obtain from the cell phone if there is any.
ProPublica has also drawn attention to the sale of Burr’s townhome in DC. Burr is accused of accepting a price above the market price for his townhome, from a donor to his campaign. Such a transaction could be against Senate rules if not properly disclosed.
Let me start off first by saying that Burr could be completely innocent. There could be nothing illegal here and everything is fine. But there’s a problem.
He’s given people a reason to doubt him. Just the appearance of evil by Sen. Burr causes trust issues. One person that should be particularly concerned is the other NC Senator Thom Tillis.
Tillis, a Republican, is in a battleground state and in a tight Senate battle for his own reelection. While the attention is on Burr, many have called on Tillis to take a stand on the Burr situation. He has said in interviews that Burr owes an explanation.
Will this weigh on the Tillis campaign? It always has the potential. It could also weigh on the campaign in 2022 when Burr’s seat comes open. Burr has already announced he will not seek reelection.
Burr has yet to give a real high profile interview or discuss the matter since the accusations. He does owe North Carolinians an explanation, along with the rest of the country. Americans are tired of corruption in their government and to let this situation continue is not acceptable.
It’s time for Sen. Burr to step out and answer those questions. We will be more than happy to host him here on The Liberty Loft. He owes it to the citizens.