US Senator Richard Burr had his cell phone seized by federal agents as part of the Department of Justice's investigation of stock transactions made by the politician before the severe market crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, American media reported on Wednesday.
Burr sold about $ 1.7 million worth of stock just before the coronavirus pandemic economic crisis began.
Burr, a Republican, he denied any wrongdoing and said he relied solely on stories to guide decisions on stock sales amid reports that he and other senators sold shares after being told about the risks of the coronavirus crisis.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee handed the phone over to agents after they gave him a search warrant at his Washington, DC home, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing an unidentified police officer.
A law enforcement official told the LA Times that the FBI also recently served an injunction with the iPhone maker Apple for information. BurriCloud account.
Police officers used the data received from the company as part of the evidence used to obtain the warrant for the senator's phone, the report added.
The Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, declined to comment on the report. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
CNN reported in March that the Justice Department began investigating a series of stock transactions made by Burr before the market crisis triggered by the virus outbreak. The investigation was carried out in coordination with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Burr is experienced in responding to public health crises and is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which receives instructions on threats to the United States.
The senator was also criticized in March, after a recording in which he said the danger posed by the coronavirus was similar to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.
"There is one thing I can tell you about this: it is much more aggressive in broadcasting than anything we've seen in recent history," Burr said recording. "It's probably more like the 1918 pandemic."
Al Jazeera and news agencies