Burr’s Temporary Resignation as Chairman Surprises Senators

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) temporarily resigned as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Fellow senators were surprised. (photo credit: burr.senate.gov)

The conclusion of Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to resign, for now, as the Senate Intelligence Committee chair surprised senators on ThursdayThe Hill reported.

The revelation, issued by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), clearly stunned many of Burr’s associates, who seemed to be getting apprised of the development as journalists inquired of them about the conclusion.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is part of Republican management and the Intelligence Committee, seemed to not know that Burr had concluded that he would resign.

“Has he done that?” Blunt stated when journalists inquired.

It seemed like Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who are part of the committee, hadn’t read McConnell’s remarks.

“Oh wow,” stated Collins. “I don’t know what to say; I truly didn’t know about it. He’s been an excellent chairman of the committee.”

Collins and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the Intelligence Committee vice chairman, were later seen having a lively chat on the floor of the Senate. Collins then talked with Burr, Warner and Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the second-ranked GOP senator, close to the Senate well.

Many journalists asked Rubio if he anticipated being the next chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rubio seemed confused, asking: “Um, why?”

“I haven’t heard that,” he said when told that McConnell had declared that Burr would resign.

McConnell made his announcement of Burr’s relatively brief resignation as senators were coming to the Capitol for a planned casting of lots at noon.

Rubio, who was questioned as he departed from the vote if he was given additional knowledge at that time, pointed out that the information was “just out.”

“I mean I wish they would time these things better,” he wisecracked.

Burr’s resignation and the responses mark the most recent development since accounts came to light in March that the Justice Department was holding an investigation into Burr’s trading of as much as $1.72 million in stocks in early February.

Burr traded the stocks subsequent to senators getting information privately on the nationwide danger that COVID-19 presents. That was in advance of the majority of Americans getting notified regarding the possible economic pains felt by COVID-19.

Burr has said that he did not utilize any knowledge he discovered in his position as a senator to determine his conclusions about trading his stocks.

But inquiries regarding the trades ramped up on Wednesday night. That followed the publishing of a Los Angeles Times report that the FBI had done a warrant to seize Burr’s phone. That figured into the bureau’s probe.

Source: The Hill