March 25, 2020/Press

What They’re Saying: Burr “Should Resign” and “Face Prosecution” After Selling “A Fortune” of Stock Ahead of Market Crash, “A Rank Betrayal of the Public Trust”

Pressure continues to mount on Senator Burr to resign after damning evidence revealed that he used his position and classified information to sell “a fortune” of stock ahead of a market crash. Last week, national and local editorial boards blasted Senator Burr for his “rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law,” after just a week before his sell off Burr wrote in an op-ed that the U.S. “is better prepared than ever before” to contain the virus.

Since then, a shareholder sued Burr for failing his “duty to Congress, the United States government, and citizens of the United States,” calling him “a scofflaw in a time of national crisis.” New polling found that half of North Carolinians believe he should resign. And the SEC “declined to comment” on whether they have opened an investigation into Burr’s stock sell off.

Read what reporters in North Carolina and across the country are saying about Burr’s self-dealing scandal:

  • “Instead of raising their voices to prepare Americans for what was to come, Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler prioritized their stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law.” – New York Times Editorial Board
  • “That said, explicit criminality aside, the real scandal here is the way in which these public servants misled an already anxious and confused public. In times of crisis, the American people need leaders who will rise to the occasion, not sink to their own mercenary interests.” – New York Times Editorial Board
  • “Whether or not Burr is prosecuted, he should resign.” – NBC News Opinion
  • “Burr’s behavior was so egregious that some prosecutors have suggested that insider-trading charges should be brought. The senator has requested an Ethics Committee investigation. Unless exculpatory information emerges quickly, resignation is perhaps the more appropriate response. At a time when Americans are facing disease, job loss and drastic declines in their retirement holdings, the message from our elected officials needs to be ‘we’re all in this together,’ not ‘I’m dumping stocks while the getting is good.’” – USA Today Editorial
  • “Burr’s reported behavior fits into the narrative of Washington elites looking out for No. 1 while ordinary Americans suffer.” – LATimes Editorial
  • “Has Burr – and fellow Republicans in Congress – abdicated their responsibilities and essentially dissolved the legislative branch of government in fealty to President Trump? It is of particular concern in Burr’s case since – and we have noted before – he promised in his 2016 re-election campaign to be independent, not beholding to a president for fear of retribution in a re-election campaign.” – WRAL Editorial
  • “Burr had a clear grasp of the danger ahead. Why did he only share it with a well-connected group? Why didn’t Burr provide his assessment to all the constituents he is supposed to serve, as well as the national media?” – News & Observer Editorial
  • “But even complete exoneration on his stock sales would leave open the more urgent question of whether Burr withheld important information from the public — information that could have saved lives.” – Winston Salem Journal Editorial
  • “Which calls into question whom Burr thinks he serves in Washington: The American people or himself?” – Greensboro News & Record
  • “Just when you think the proud toilet paper salesmen of E-Bay have given the world its fill of deplorable profiteers, along comes Congress.” – Editorial
  • “He had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public… [He must explain himself] Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading. There is no greater moral crime than betraying your country in a time of crisis.” – Tucker Carlson, Host of ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ on Fox News
  • “[Sen. Burr] stays as Intelligence Chairman after screwing all Americans by falsely reassuring us w opeds on #COVID while he dumped his stock portfolio early. This is not fair.” – Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
  • “When voters are informed later in the poll about his 1.7 million dollars in stock sales, 69% say that gives them ‘very serious’ concerns about him and support for his resignation goes up to 60%” – Public Policy Polling
  • “Senator Burr owed a duty to Congress, the United States government, and citizens of the United States, including Plaintiff, not to use material nonpublic information that he learned by virtue of his duties as a United States Senator in connection with the sale or purchase of any security. Senator Burr breached that duty by selling stock, including Wyndham stock, based on that material nonpublic information.” – Securities Fraud lawsuit brought by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts shareholder