As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr was given access to classified intelligence reports in January and early February that contained dire warnings about the coronavirus.
On Jan. 31, Burr received nonpublic information from a source whose name is redacted in the FBI documents. That same day, Burr put in orders to sell nearly $110,000 in stock from his and his wife’s brokerage accounts.
On Feb. 12, Burr ordered the purchase of approximately $1.2 million of Treasury securities, using 76% of the total holdings in Burr and his wife’s joint account.
“Investors often purchase U.S. Treasury funds to hedge against a potential market downturn,” the FBI special agent, Brandon Merriman, notes.
One day after Burr’s big Treasury bill purchase, Burr and his wife unloaded equity shares worth approximately $1.1 million.
That the Burrs sold stock was reported at the time, but the value of the sale was only reported within a range. Monday’s filing was the first time the exact amounts had been made public.
According to the FBI, “As a result of Senator Burr’s sales on February 13, 2020, his portfolio went from approximately 83% in equities to approximately 3% in equities.”
A week later, markets began a steep slide as investors panicked over the potential economic damage from the coronavirus.