Unlike his Senate colleagues, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr didn’t try to hide behind blind trusts or pre-scheduled transactions or any of the other structures available to the enterprising (alleged) insider-trader to explain away his money-saving stock trades so suspiciously soon after receiving confidential briefings about just how bad the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be. He rather boldly admitted he made them himself. And unlike two of those colleagues, he’s still serving in the U.S. Senate, because after an unusually decorous interval and pretense of a real investigation, the partisan hack serving as U.S. Attorney General put Burr in the criminal clear at the last possible moment.
[Burr brother-in-law Gerald] Fauth’s lawyers have said their client’s unwillingness to comply with a May 2020 SEC subpoena stems from serious health issues that could be worsened by stressful situations.
Of course, Gary Gensler isn’t likely to be less inclined than his predecessor to turn over every stone to potentially embarrass Burr out of the Senate a year earlier than planned, and neither, it seems, is the judge who Gensler has asked to personally haul Fauth into a stressful situation.
Judge Carter suggested Mr. Fauth could sit and answer the SEC’s questions for brief periods over a series of days. Breaking up the testimony “may be a possible solution to this,” Judge Carter said…. Mr. Fauth, who is chairman of the National Mediation Board, sold stock in his wife’s account in February 2020 immediately after speaking to Mr. Burr by phone, a SEC court filing says….
“I would ask the court to inquire of the SEC why they haven’t gone to the first person where they say the issue arose from?” [Fauth lawyer Joseph] Warin said at Friday’s hearing. “Senator Burr hasn’t been questioned. And they seem completely fixated on taking our client’s testimony, and yet Mr. Burr has not been questioned and we’re coming on 18 months.”
Judge Carter said he wouldn’t “attempt to micromanage the way the SEC prioritizes its investigation, or who it wishes to hear from first.”
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