Justice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr without charges

Justice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr without charges

The Justice Department has closed its months-long insider trading investigation involving Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOfficials discussing 25th Amendment for Trump following violence at Capitol GOP senator says Trump ‘bears responsibility’ for Capitol riot Republican infighting on election intensifies MORE (R-N.C.) without charges.

Burr said in a statement that the department informed him of the decision on Tuesday, saying, “The case is now closed.”

“I’m glad to hear it. My focus has been and will continue to be working for the people of North Carolina during this difficult time for our nation,” the senator added.

A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed the decision, which was first reported by The New York Times, saying that the matter was now closed but declining to comment further.

News that the probe has closed without charges came on the last full day of the Trump administration, with President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenWoman accused of trying to sell Pelosi laptop to Russians arrested Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Trump moves to lift coronavirus travel restrictions on Europe, Brazil MORE set to take office on Wednesday.

The decision to close Burr’s case comes after months of scrutiny about stock sales the GOP senator made during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. ProPublica reported in March that Burr offloaded between $582,029 and $1.56 million of stock on Feb. 13 in almost 30 different transactions, weeks before the stock market tumbled as the coronavirus spread.

Burr has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying that he didn’t use any nonpublic information when making the decisions. He also requested a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the stock sales and pledged to cooperate with any investigations. 

The Justice Department quickly began investigating Burr’s transactions, and the FBI seized his cellphone in May. 

Burr was one of several senators whose stock sales were probed by the Trump administration. But the Justice Department closed its investigations into Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerNikki Haley unveils PAC ahead of possible 2024 White House bid McConnell has said he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses: report Top Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win MORE (R-Ga.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBottom line Trump vetoes bipartisan driftnet fishing bill Dumping Abraham Lincoln? A word of advice to the ‘cancel culture’ MORE (D-Calif.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time ‘I saw my life flash before my eyes’: An oral history of the Capitol attack Republican senators now regret not doing more to contain Trump MORE (R-Okla.) in May, while the probe into Burr continued.  

Amid the scrutiny, Burr stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He remained a member of the panel, but his decision to temporarily step aside sent shockwaves through the Senate. Because Republicans are set to lose control of the Senate majority on Wednesday, the decision by the Justice Department is too late for Burr to regain control of the panel. 

He’ll now have to decide if he wants to be the vice chairman, a position that would otherwise be filled by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFlorida Republicans close ranks with Trump after Capitol siege Confirmation hearing for Biden’s DNI pick postponed McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (R-Fla.), who took over as acting chairman for Burr. He could also be the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.