Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, will not serve as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the probe into his stock dealings earlier this year ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday. “We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”
Mr. Burr has come under scrutiny for stock trades he made in February after lawmakers were briefed behind-closed-doors about the pandemic. He has denied any wrongdoing on accusations of insider trading.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported the FBI seized the senator’s cellphone as part of the administration’s investigation.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Mr. Burr called his decision to step down “necessary” and said he would not return to his leadership role until the investigation concludes.
“The work the Intelligence Committee and its members do is too important to risk hindering in any way,” he said. “I believe this step is necessary to allow the Committee to continue its essential work free of external distractions.”
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