Federal authorities have ended an investigation into Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and declined to bring charges after a lengthy investigation into his $1.7 million stock sell-off before markets crashed at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Burr announced on Tuesday night that the Department of Justice informed him that its review of his transactions had ended and “the case is now closed.” A DOJ spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast that the matter is closed.
The New York Times first reported the conclusion of the investigation, also conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which began in March and endangered the Republican senator politically and legally. Facing pressure, he quickly stepped down from his chairmanship of the Senate Intelligence Committee—through which he was likely briefed about the virus in its early stages—and in May, he turned his phone over to federal agents.
The conclusion of the Burr probe without charges means that none of the several senators who faced scrutiny for possibly trading on private knowledge at the beginning of the pandemic will face criminal charges or civil penalties for that activity anytime in the foreseeable future. Burr is set to retire from the Senate in 2022.