Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and three other lawmakers — including Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. — made headlines after dumping millions of dollars in stocks in February.
The senators’ financial moves were controversial because they came after receiving a confidential briefing about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, the value of their stocks in the United States crashed. Bipartisan critics called the move a “cash grab” and called for the four senators to resign.
Now, investigators are asking why Feinstein, Burr, and the others made the moves when they did.
Burr has denied any wrongdoing and asked for an ethics investigation to clear his name.
“The law is clear that any American — including a Senator — may participate in the stock market based on public information, as Senator Burr did,” his attorney told CNN. “When this issue arose, Senator Burr immediately asked the Senate Ethics Committee to conduct a complete review, and he will cooperate with that review as well as any other appropriate inquiry.”
Burr sold between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his stocks on Feb. 13, a significant amount of his total holdings.
Feinstein’s husband sold between $1.5-6 million of stock in the biotech company Allogene Therapeutics around that same time. The stock has lost significant value since then. The California senator has denied having any involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.
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“I have no input into his decisions. My husband in January and February sold shares of a cancer therapy company. This company is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation,” Feinstein said in a statement.
The Horn editorial team