Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, July 13, 2021
At least 25 current U.S. senators, one former member, and one former House speaker contributed to never-Trumper Sen. Richard Burr’s legal defense fund as the North Carolina RINO was under investigation by the Department of Justice for selling off $1.72 million in stock after receiving an intelligence briefing at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Burr was one of several senators who were criticized as they made stock trades after they received information that warned of the potential effects of Covid, but before the pandemic began spreading rapidly.
Unlike senators Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Dianne Feinstein of California, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Burr did not deny that he decided to sell the stock himself, or that concerns about coronavirus were his primary motivation for the sale.
The DOJ announced in January that it would not criminally charge Burr.
Related: Senators dumped stocks after intel briefing on coronavirus, March 20, 2020
Not only was Burr not an avid supporter of President Donald Trump, who supported his 2016 campaign for re-election, but he was active in efforts by Obama holdovers in the Department of Justice and other Democrats to undermine the credibility of Trump’s election.
As the late Rush Limbaugh put it on May 9, 2019, “So we got the Mueller report out. It finds no collusion. There never was any,” he said. “Here comes a so-called Republican senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr from North Carolina, who does not have the support of any other Republican on the committee, issuing a new subpoena or request for Donald Trump Jr. to come up and offer more testimony, after the case is closed.”
According to first-quarter documents filed with the Senate’s Office of Public Records and campaign finance reports, fellow North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and two current U.S. representatives from the state have donated to the Richard Burr Legal Expense Trust Fund.
Republican PACs affiliated with Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Ben Sasse (Nebraska) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) donated to the fund.
The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer obtained a copy of Burr’s trust fund documents from the Office of Public Records on Thursday. The documents are not available online and must be viewed or copied in person.
Burr’s defense fund has received at least $297,500 in contributions, most from fellow senators, according to the reports.
Committees tied to the following Republican senators all donated either $5,000 or $10,000, according to the records: Sens. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Mike Crapo (Idaho), John Cornyn (Texas), Marco Rubio (Florida), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), John Thune (South Dakota), Richard Shelby (Alabama), Rob Portman (Ohio), Susan Collins (Maine), Shelley Capito (West Virginia), Mike Braun (Indiana), John Hoeven (North Dakota), Roger Wicker (Mississippi) and Tim Scott (South Carolina).
Four Democratic senators, including Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also donated. Sens. Joe Manchin (West Virginia) contributed $10,000 and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) contributed $2,000 from their leadership PACs.
Former Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, donated $10,000, as did former House Speaker John Boehner through their PACs.
Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, who led the Senate Intelligence Committee with Burr, contributed $5,000 as an individual.
Burr has paid more than $700,000 for legal services since July 2020, the reports show.
Burr’s reported net worth in 2018 was $7.4 million, according to the Center For Responsive Politics and based on Burr’s financial disclosures.
Burr, who has served three terms in the Senate, is not seeking re-election in 2022.