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Burr avoided tens of thousands in losses with ‘well-timed’ stock sales in beginning of pandemic

<i>Demetrius Freeman/Pool/Getty Images</i><br/>Sen. Richard Burr avoided about $87
Getty Images
Demetrius Freeman/Pool/Getty Images
Sen. Richard Burr avoided about $87

By Hannah Rabinowitz and Holmes Lybrand, CNN

Sen. Richard Burr avoided about $87,000 of losses when he sold off stock at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 search warrant affidavit unsealed on Monday.

Investigators said in the warrant that because of his position in Congress, the North Carolina Republican knew about the threat of Covid-19 in February — before public concern of severe economic impacts from the pandemic crescendoed. The Justice Department launched an insider trading investigation into Burr, which eventually concluded without criminal charges.

The warrant affidavit and other court records were unsealed following a lawsuit by the Los Angeles Times.

According to investigators, the senator made a series of “well-timed stock sales” and sold more than 95% of the holdings in his Individual Retirement Account. “As a result of Senator Burr’s sales on February 13, 2020, his portfolio went from approximately 83% in equities to approximately 3% in equities,” the affidavit says.

“Beginning on February 20, 2020 — six days after Senator Burr’s sale of the majority of his equity — the stock market endured a dramatic and substantial downturn,” the affidavit says. “In total, Senator Burr avoided more than an estimated $87,000 in loss as a result of his well-timed stock sales, and profited more than $164,000.”

After a nearly year-long investigation, Burr announced in January 2021 that the Justice Department had informed him the investigation was closed.

Burr did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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