COVID hit everyone hard. Some losing their jobs, others losing tons of money in stocks, and many more scenarios. We trusted our government to inform us about how bad the situation was and during the tougher parts of the pandemic, we relied on them for stimulus checks. But did some of these politicians use their power and access to self-enrich themselves during these trying times?
Investigative journalists Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers of the Government Accountability Institute expose on their latest podcast, The Drill Down, how some Senators were much quicker to act during Covid when it came to their personal fortunes.
Richard Burr, a North Carolina Senator and a chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was the most problematic politician in this case of insider trading.
Burr, whose worth is a reported 1.8 million dollars, received a private briefing on February 4th discussing how severe the pandemic was in other countries. On February 12th, Burr, who also sits on the Senate Health Committee, received another briefing discussing COVID-19.
What happened the next day? Burr sold 33 stock holdings worth between $600,000 to $1.7 million. If he had not made these trades, his portfolio would have been down by 30% just in a matter of weeks.
Burr says his trades were not based on inside information, but were from information watching cable news. Peter Schweizer responded saying, “That is absurd and unacceptable.”
This one example shows how politicians, even in an unimaginable crisis, will put their own self-enrichment prior to their nation’s needs.