Most voters in Republican Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina believe he would have to resign because he had sold up to $ 1.72 million in shares ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.
A new poll released by Public Policy Polling on Tuesday found that 50 percent of North Carolina voters think Burr should resign, while only 24 percent think he should remain in public office. The sentiment in favor of the resignation passed the ideological lines with 63 percent and 53 percent of independents in favor. Even members of the senator’s own political party seemed to be divided on this issue, with 31 percent of Republicans saying the senator should resign, while 38 percent said no.
The poll is the first to be published since Burr, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, downloaded shares worth thousands of dollars less than a week before the stock market dropped sharply due to of the coronavirus pandemic. The senator’s due date came when the Intelligence Committee was receiving almost daily information about the virus, ranging from $ 628,000 to $ 1.72 million.
Most of the actions were from hospitality companies, such as Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Hilton, which were especially successful as coronavirus travel restrictions were applied. Many are now worth a fraction of the price of when Burr chose to sell.
When the news of the expire broke out, it was speculated that the senator had acted on inside information to protect his property, as confidential information about the pandemic was available. If true, Burr could be found in violation of the STOCK Act, which prohibits lawmakers from using non-public information for private gain.
Burr, meanwhile, has strongly denied any wrongdoing. In a statement issued last week, the senator admitted that while the winding-up was motivated by the coronavirus, he did not act on the information available only to members of Congress.
“I relied solely on public reports to guide my decision on the sale of stocks on February 13,” said Burr, urging the Senate Ethics Committee to begin a sale inquiry.
Voters, however, appear to be unconvinced by Burr’s innocence. When 69% of Public Policy Surveys reported on Burr’s stock sale timetable, 69 percent said they had “very serious” concerns. Similarly, support for Burr’s resignation increased 60 percent among North Carolina voters when informed about it.