- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The FBI has reportedly seized a Republican senator’s cellphone in an investigation of coronavirus-related insider trading.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday evening that Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, had a warrant served upon him at his Washington-area home and turned the device over to FBI agents.

Given the high-profile target, the warrant and the seizure had to have been approved at the Justice Department’s highest levels, the Times wrote.

The actions represent a major escalation in the probe of stock trades made by several senators who made the trades in the days surrounding secret February briefings warning of a potentially catastrophic epidemic but before the stock market began crashing.

Mr. Burr made dozens of trades in that period of stocks that were hit hard in the crash and, the official told the Times, agents want to examine his phone for communications with his broker.

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