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Press Release | March 20, 2020

Good Government Groups Demand SEC Investigate Sen. Richard Burr for Insider Trading

Ethics in Government


CONTACT: Jeff Hauser, [email protected], (202) 957-9719

Today, the Demand Progress Education Fund and Revolving Door Project submitted a complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting that the agency investigate Senator Richard Burr for insider trading. 

As the Demand Progress Education Fund and Revolving Door Project write in their complaint, “The legislative and executive branches of the federal government will be making decisions with massive economic impact in the coming weeks and months of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is up to the SEC to assure the public that these decisions will not be made with an eye toward personal economic gain.”

As reported by ProPublica, Senator Richard Burr “sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings on February 13 in 33 separate transactions,” a matter of days before the stock market began a sharp descent. At the time, Burr was receiving classified daily briefings on the coronavirus in his capacity as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

These circumstances suggest that Senator Richard Burr may have traded on the basis of non-public information in violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, which “prohibit[s] Members of Congress and employees of Congress from using nonpublic information derived from their official positions for personal benefit.”

The complaint’s authors, David Segal of the Demand Progress Education Fund and Jeff Hauser of Revolving Door Project, are available for comment.

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