Sen. Richard Burr is temporarily giving up his chairmanship of one of the most powerful Senate committees while the FBI investigates insider trading allegations, reports the Hill. The North Carolina Republican will step aside as chair of the intelligence panel as the investigation continues. Burr, who was privy to classified briefings in his post, dumped a lot of stock just before the coronavirus outbreak began slamming the US economy. He has maintained that he did so based on media reports out of China, not because of any special information he received as committee chairman.
“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement. "We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow." The FBI has seized Burr's phone and is investigating data in the phone's cloud storage, reports the Washington Post. (Read more Richard Burr stories.)