On Friday, Politico reported that the federal investigation into Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) goes deeper than just the stock trades he made on coronavirus-impacted companies while receiving classified public health briefings.
In fact, Burr is reportedly also under investigation for a number of investments transactions he made on companies that were impacted by his work on multiple Senate committees over the course of eight years.
"While Burr sat on committees focused on health care, taxes and trade, he and his wife bought and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock in an array of health care companies, banks and corporations with business overseas," reported Maggie Severns. "At times, Burr owned stock in companies whose specific industries he advanced through legislation."
"In 2017, Burr traded stock in two companies that make medical devices, Zimmer Biomet and Philips, while introducing bills to repeal the medical device tax and working to repeal Obamacare," said the report. "He invested in financial institutions including the Bank of New York Mellon and U.S. Bank, which are regulated by the Senate Finance Committee, on which he sits."
Additionally, the report said, "As the finance committee debated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Burr held stock in multinational conglomerate Kimberly-Clark, owner of Kleenex, which owns brands in Mexico. As tensions rose in 2019 with China, he picked up stock in 3M, another multinational whose purchases and sales with China were affected by President Donald Trump’s tariffs, which also fall under the finance committee's jurisdiction."
None of these transactions are necessarily illegal, but could be if Burr made any of these purchases on information about these policies which was not available to the public at the time.
This week, after being served a warrant for his phone by the FBI as part of the investigation, Burr stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, insisting that all of his stock trades were legal and ethical, but acknowledging the scandal had become a distraction from Senate business.