DOJ still investigating coronavirus stock sales by Sen. Burr, but drops probes of Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein, report says

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) leaves the U.S. Capitol after voting in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2020.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Federal prosecutors are still investigating stock sales by Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina in advance of a coronavirus-fuelled share price plunge, but are dropping investigations of such sales by three other senators: Kelly Loeffler, Jim Inhofe and Dianne Feinstein, according to a new report Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors from the Department of Justice on Tuesday are informing lawyers for Loeffler, R-Georgia, Inhofe, R-Okla., and Feinstein, D-Calif., that they are no longer probing stock sales related to them.

The FBI earlier this month seized Burr’s cell phone at his home in Washington, D.C., as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. The next day, the Republican stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) participates during the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine COVID-19 and Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee | POOL | Getty Images

Burr and the other three senators have denied any wrongdoing in selling off shares, or their spouses selling off shares, worth cumulatively millions of dollars in the weeks before stock prices collapse as the Covid-19 pandemic began spreading rapidly in the United States.

The Department of Justice, and spokesmen for Burr and Feinstein declined to comment when asked by CNBC about the Wall Street Journal’s report.

Spokesmen for Loeffler and  Inhofe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Burr on Feb. 13 had sold stock shares valued at between $630,000 and $1.7 million in 33 separate trades.

ProPublica has reported that on Feb. 13, the same day Burr that sold his stock, his brother-in-law Gerald Fauth also sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of shares.

Fauth is a member of the National Mediation Board, a federal agency that facilitates labor relations for the transportation industry. 

Burr’s attorney Alice Fisher did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fisher previously has said that Burr “participated in the stock market based on public information,” and that “he did not coordinate his decision to trade on Feb. 13 with Mr. Fauth.

Loeffler’s husband Jeffrey Sprecher is CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, the company that operates the New York Stock Exchange, among other financial marketplaces.

A spokesman for Intercontinental Exchange, known as ICE, declined to comment Tuesday.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

– Additional reporting by Ryan Ruggiero

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