WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday after the FBI served a search warrant for his phone as part of an ongoing insider-trading investigation tied to the coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the move, saying he and Burr had agreed it was in the Senate’s best interests.
FBI officials showed up at Burr’s home with the warrant on Wednesday, marking a significant escalation into the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Burr broke the law with a well-timed sale of stocks before the coronavirus caused markets to plummet.
The Justice Department declined to comment. His attorney did not respond to phone and email messages, but said last month that the law is clear that any senator can participate in stock market trading based on public information “as Sen. Burr did.”