March 20, 2020 at 3:25 PM EDT – Updated March 20 at 4:06 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WECT) – Sen. Thom Tillis and Congressman David Rouzer are responding to Sen. Richard Burr’s request for an ethics investigation, following reports he sold as much as $1.7 million in stocks before the market dropped because of fears over the coronavirus.
“Given the circumstances, Senator Burr owes North Carolinians an explanation,” Tillis tweeted Friday morning. “His self-referral to the Ethics Committee for their review is appropriate, there needs to be a professional and bipartisan inquiry into this matter, which the Ethics Committee can provide.”
Burr released a statement announcing the ethics request, saying he relied solely on public news reports to guide his decision to sell the stocks on February 13. He also posted the letter he wrote to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee..
“I have known Senator Burr since his first day in public office,” Rep. Rouzer said in an email statement sent to WECT. “He is a fine man and a great public servant. I have every expectation that his call for the Senate Ethics Committee to review his financial transactions will confirm that there was enough public information available to lead any individual to take the same financial actions had they considered that same information in the same way.”
According to the Associated Press, at least three other senators made major stock moves around the same time as Burr. They include Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. The AP quoted the New York Times as the source of the other senators’ information.
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