COVID-19, News

Fallout from Burr revelations, including calls for resignation, continues to spread

Senator Richard Burr

It shouldn’t have come as any great surprise that North Carolina’s senior senator, Republican Richard Burr, has a penchant for bringing a “me and my portfolio first” approach to public service. Burr, who is now at the center of a growing national political firestorm after yesterday’s revelation that he warned a wealthy donor group that the new coronavirus would have devastating effects and sold stocks in hotels last month after receiving a briefing about the virus in his role as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has taken similar action before.

The senator acquired the derogatory nickname “Bank Run Burr” in the aftermath of the last great national financial crisis after telling his wife at the onset of the crisis to “draw out everything it will let you take” from their bank accounts via an ATM on successive days.

And while the fallout from the previous episode was limited — mostly to the senator attracting comic and unflattering assessments from critics who already saw him as the quintessential lightweight pol — the latest one seems unlikely to melt away quite so quickly.

At this writing, the senator is drawing scathing attacks from across the country, calls for in-depth investigations into his actions and even calls for his immediate resignation from both conservatives and progressives.

This morning, the North Carolina Democratic Party called for Burr to resign, saying he “has betrayed the trust of every North Carolinian in a time of crisis.”

Last night, ABC News producer John Santucci tweeted:

“Hearing from sources close to President Trump that Burr needs to resign.”

Meanwhile, columnist Dave Leonhardt of the New York Times had this summary of some of the reactions Burr (and Georgia senator Kerry Loeffler, who attended the same January 24 briefing that Burr attended with a senior government scientist and dumped stocks as well) are drawing in his morning newsletter:

Their sales are “an immense and outrageous abuse of the public trust,” writes Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey. “It’s an inexcusably terrible thing to have done.”

  • Tucker Carlson, Fox News: “[Burr] had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime-time address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was ‘better prepared than ever’ for coronavirus. He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent. Now maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate … ”
  • Molly Knight: “Richard Burr should not hold government office by Monday. He needs to resign today.
  • David French, The Dispatch: “The potential insider trading is dreadful and possibly criminal, but what could elevate this to a historic scandal is the idea that senators may have known enough to be alarmed for themselves yet still projected rosy scenarios to the public AND failed to make sure we were ready.”
  • David Frum of The Atlantic wants to know who else may have sold stock: “What did the Trump family sell, and when did they sell it?”
  • The Times editorial board argued in December that “members of Congress should not be allowed to buy and sell stocks, or to serve on corporate boards.”
  • In 2012, Robert Reich notes, Burr was one of only a small number of members to vote against a law that barred them from trading on inside information.

This is a fast-developing story. Look for additional updates as the day progresses.

4 Comments


  1. Alan

    March 20, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Burr, Loeffler and Feinstein ALL need to resign, be prosecuted for insider trading, and then spend the same amount of time in jail that any other ordinary citizen would have to under the same circumstances.
    Burr will inevitably be cleared of all wrong doing due to the fox in the henhouse, or will “retire” early to spend “more time with his family” just before he’s found guilty (an unlikely event).
    Although the primary focus has been on the rather impoverished Burr, the financial wrong doing of Loeffler & Feinstein are a magnitude worse than that of Burr, both people of VERY substantial wealth. (Burr ~$3M, Feinstein $58M, and Loeffler $500M).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_members_of_the_United_States_Congress_by_wealth

  2. Daniel Orr

    March 22, 2020 at 12:38 am

    Seems rather politically biased that you failed to mention a Democrat who did the same. Sens. Dianne Feinstein unloaded around a million dollars worth of her shares after the same briefing. Also, they don’t profit as you assert. What happened was they don’t lose. So yeah, that is entitlement (because we are all human and saving ourselves is what we do) and yet still insider trading which illegal. Both Burr and Feinstein are already on their way out. Burr announced a long time ago he was done and Feinstein lost her district in the primaries. There are far greater fish to fry than this minor distraction. Yeah, some judge should fine them an amount equal to the loss of the stocks they sold plus the criminal penalty but this isn’t a circus moment. Focus on the big picture. Was the combined pandemic and financial attack on oil industry? Our enemies coming together to try and take us out? The Democrat’s (and Rino-s) One World Order of Socialism and global control? Right before the election which looks like a slam dunk Trump Win…. The hail Mary by the Plutarch Oligarchy to end American Dominance if not America itself. Report on our enemies that are trying to capitalize in taking of America. How are the Russians? OPEC? China? What do American’s need to be focused on more? Safety from the contagion and how to endure the financial crisis?

  3. Teresa Samuels

    March 22, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Burr is a disgrace for North Carolina!! This should be a criminal offense for a senator!! Shame on you Richard Burr. VOTE BLUE TO GET RID OF THIS S***BAG!!!!!

  4. Alan

    March 22, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Oh oh… looks like it’s tin foil hat time again… Soros and The Deep State didn’t even get a mention :-)

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