FBI seizes senator’s phone in investigation of stock trades after coronavirus briefings

Politics
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in February. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in February.. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Federal agents seized a cellphone belonging to a prominent Republican senator on Wednesday night as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into controversial stock trades he made as the novel coronavirus first struck the U.S., a law enforcement official said.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on the lawmaker at his residence in the Washington area, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a law enforcement action.

The seizure represents a significant escalation in the investigation into whether Burr violated a law preventing members of Congress from trading on insider information they have gleaned from their official work.

To obtain a search warrant, federal agents and prosecutors must persuade a judge they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The law enforcement official said the Justice Department is examining Burr’s communications with his broker.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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