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Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and three other senators sold off substantial holdings before drop amid coronavirus fears

Republican senator Richard Burr faced demands to resign on Friday after it was reported that he sold off millions of dollars worth of stocks just before the market dropped amid fears of the coronavirus pandemic.

Burr, of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, denied he had kept the public in the dark about the scale of the threat as three other senators also came under scrutiny for selling major holdings in the same period.

Burr and his wife sold between around $628,000 and $1.7m in more than 30 separate transactions in late January and mid-February, ProPublica and the Center for Responsive Politics reported. Several of the stocks were in companies that own hotels.

On Friday, Burr asked congressional investigators to probe whether his actions amounted to insider trading. I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision on the sale of stocks February 13, he said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/20/republican-senators-sold-stocks-before-markets-plunged-on-coronavirus-fears-reports