The US Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began checking stock transactions in recent weeks by members of US Congress who had access to classified information about the spread of coronavirus and the impact of the unfolding pandemic on the economy, CNN reports.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as part of the investigation, requested information about the stock sales of Senator Richard Burr who sits as Chairman of the Senate Special Intelligence Committee.
In February, before the collapse of the markets in the United States and a huge drop in oil prices, Burr sold his shares for nearly $1.7 million. The senator claims that the decision to sell these shares was made on the basis of publicly available data.
Some members of the Senate and House of Representatives made a number of major transactions in the days and weeks before the stock market collapse. Including Senator Kelly Loeffler, who, together with her husband, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher, sold almost $3.1 million worth of shares before the markets took a nose-dive.
Senators Dianne Feinstein and James Inhofe are also part of these transactions. However, information on any investigations to them has not been received yet. All of these senators participated in private briefings at the beginning of the year, which discussed the threat of the spread of coronavirus.
By law, according to the STOCK Act, members of congress cannot use classified information for financial gain. If there is reason to believe that any of the congressman or senators did this, then the US Department of Justice is required to conduct a full investigation into wrong doing.