Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Getty Images)

Here’s how it works. Congress members are a part of a select group of folks who are entitled to privileged information. This information can obviously affect the stock market. Say, for example, you are a senator from North Carolina and let’s say that you’re a Republican and let’s just say, for the sake of conversation, that you chair on the Senate Intelligence Committee and let’s say that this position allows you access to some highly sensitive information, like the world as we know it is about to change. And, let’s say that because you are a high ranking member of Congress, you learn that commercial airlines, restaurants, basically all places where people congregate are going to be severely impacted. And let’s say—again, I’m just spitballing here—that you own a shit ton of hotel stocks. You know that these stocks are about to become shit in the next few weeks, so what do you do?

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Well, if you are Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), you dump that stock like a Kardashian would a best friend for cheating with her baby daddy (only to kick it with the baby daddy and not the best friend).

What is now being billed as BURRisma—a tongue-and-cheek play on the senator who started this mess and the Republican-led investigation into the former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter’s board position on the Ukrainian gas company called Burisma Holdings—looks like a few senators totally used their standing to play a little inside baseball.

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Here is what we know.

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)

Can we call him Dick? I think we should. Dick is truly living up to his nickname. Not only did ole’ Dick know what was really good, he took that information and told a room full of donors everything that was happening and what to expect, sparing no details weeks before the rest of America had any clue.

Captured on secret recordings, this asshole, or Dick as it were, told the Tar Heel Circle, “a nonpartisan group whose membership consists of businesses and organizations in North Carolina” everything they could expect and more.

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From NPR:

On Feb. 27, when the United States had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, President Trump was tamping down fears and suggesting that the virus could be seasonal.

“It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle. It will disappear,” the president said then, before adding, “it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens.”

On that same day, Burr attended a luncheon held at a social club called the Capitol Hill Club. And he delivered a much more alarming message.

“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” he said, according to a secret recording of the remarks obtained by NPR. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

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He basically told all of them to sell off everything they had and run for the hills. I’m not being flippant here. Imagine if you’re a businessman and your congressman just told that a pandemic on par with the 1918 pandemic is on the horizon. You don’t have to be a fucking genius to know that your airline and hotel stocks are probably going to tank.

But Burr wants the American people to believe that he “dumped up to $1.7 million in stocks” randomly and it had nothing to do with the grim picture he painted to his wealthy constituents, who were rich enough to be in a social club that cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 to become a member.

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Ignoring calls for him to resign and admit that he’s a rotten person to his core, Burr claimed that he’d just been watching the news when he dropped a massive amount of stocks. And said that he’s not going anywhere.

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Even Tucker Carlson called for Burr to resign, which is clearly the sign of the apocalypse when Carlson doesn’t bend his back to protect a Republican.

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.)

I’m sure this is all just a big misunderstanding. I’m sure that Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who just happens to be married to Jeffrey C. Sprecher, who just happens to be the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold off seven figures’ worth of stock holdings...

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Wait...hol’ up.

A congresswoman is married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and there is speculation that they cheated the system?

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Waitaminute, 50 Cent is calling me:

Me: Hey, 50. Did you hear about Sprecher and his wife Loeffler supposedly dumping stocks…

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50 Cent:

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I mean you have to admit that the optics of this are pretty fucked up but let’s break it all down.

From the Daily Beast:

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) reported the first sale of stock jointly owned by her and her husband on Jan. 24, the very day that her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials, including the CDC director and Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on the coronavirus.

“Appreciate today’s briefing from the President’s top health officials on the novel coronavirus outbreak,” she tweeted about the briefing at the time.

That first transaction was a sale of stock in the company Resideo Technologies valued at between $50,001 and $100,000. The company’s stock price has fallen by more than half since then, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average overall has shed approximately 10,000 points, dropping about a third of its value.

It was the first of 29 stock transactions that Loeffler and her husband made through mid-February, all but two of which were sales. One of Loeffler’s two purchases was stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and which has seen a small bump in its stock price since Loeffler bought in as a result of coronavirus-induced market turmoil.

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What makes Loeffler’s case a bit different from Burr’s is that she didn’t just dump stock that was destined to lose value in these coronavirus times; she also just so happened to purchase stock that would increase in value from America being on coronavirus house arrest.

Loeffler has already taken to Twitter to defend herself and call the whole thing, baseless:

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I’m sure she’s right and that the handlers of her stocks just blindly picked these particular stocks without her or her husband, who again, just happens to be the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, without their input.

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Also this had to be a bit bizarre: the first person to ask President Trump about the coronavirus stock dump was….former White House communications director and White House Easter bunny, Sean Spicer:

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Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Inhofe could have been moving on insider knowledge or he could have just been a complete idiot, but either way he also made some trades right before America learned how devastating this whole thing was going to be.

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The “Oklahoma Republican, dumped as much as $400,000 worth of stock on Jan. 27, records show,” according to the New York Post. “He sold shares in five different companies including Apple, PayPal and Brookfield Asset Management, according to a disclosure report.”

Something tells me just based on the stock he got rid of that whoever manages his stock portfolio was just doing shit that had nothing to do with insider coronavirus knowledge.

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I could totally be wrong because Inhofe is a Republican and according to hotep definition of Republican, it means “bound to do some fuckshit.” So for now we wait.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) 

The lone Democrat on this list.

Feinstein reportedly sold between $1.5 million and $6 million of stock in a biotechnology company in late January and early February, right before the market crashed and right after learning of the outbreak in classified meetings, according to several news outlets.

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From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Feinstein and her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, sold shares in Allogene Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, according to her financial disclosures. They sold shares on Jan. 13 and Feb. 18. The stock subsequently rose in value, peaking in early March.

Feinstein said her husband sold shares in a cancer therapy company that “is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation.”

Feinstein’s comments came as a furor erupted around reports of stock sales by GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, chairman of the Intelligence Committee. He and his wife sold 33 stocks on Feb. 13 worth a total $628,000 to $1.7 million, according to media reports, including more than $200,000 in hotel chain stocks. Many of the stocks have plunged in value since the pandemic struck the U.S.

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Feinstein has already taken to Twitter to explain the transactions:

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Unlike the others on this list, Feinstein’s stock moves actually resulted in losses, which makes me want to believe her. I want to believe you, boo. I do. But I’ve gotten burned by your kind before. By your kind, I mean white women. And by burned, I mean that 53 percent of white women voted against their self-interest to vote the current shit heel into the White House. So with that I say, I’m sending you my thoughts and prayers.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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