Matt Gaetz Demands Senator Richard Burr's Ouster For Stock Dumping. Must Be That Time Of The Month Again.
Matt Gaetz is really stepping up his game. Congressman Florida Man previously stuck to being Right About A Thing?!?!? once a quarter. But this pandemic seems to have shaken something loose, and now he's leveled up to once a month. So, uh, good job, Matt Gaetz!
Gaetz is currently shit tweeting at Mitch McConnell for letting North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr stay on as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee after he got caught redhanded dumping stocks before coronavirus infected the stock market. As ProPublica was first to report, Intel was receiving daily updates on the danger of COVID-19 back in February, at the same time Burr was publicly chirping to Fox that "the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration." Which is ... not how that turned out.
On February 13, Burr dumped a metric shit ton of stock — somewhere between $628,000 and $1.72 million — including at least $250,000 of shares in the hospitality industry, which got pummeled when coronavirus shuttered hotels. Burr insists that he was simply prescient, just dumping stock based on what he saw on MSNBC, and that the part of his brain that attended those secret coronavirus briefings is firewalled off from the part that executes trades. You bet! But ProPublica got a recording of him on February 27 warning a roomful of fancy donors that shit was about to hit the fan and decimate the travel industry.
None of which is a good look. And because North Carolina law would force the state's Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to replace Burr with a Republican, there's no reason other than loyalty for the GOP to stick with him. Which, let's cut the shit here, is not really a thing with these people.
In fact, Burr is probably a drag on his fellow Republican Senator Thom Tillis, who's up this cycle in rapidly purpling North Carolina. And the GOP probably has a better shot at holding Burr's seat in 2022 with a generic Republican who didn't profit off a pandemic on the ballot. So ...
In the face of withering criticism from his supposed allies at Fox, Burr has gone full OJ, demanding an ethics investigation to clear his good name. At least it wasn't a duel. But CNN reports that the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have one or two questions for Senator Burr, and they aren't about his momma's recipe for fried green tomatoes. Johnny Law is just wondering if the senator might have violated the Stock Act, which bars members of Congress from trading on non-public information they learn on the job.
All of which brings us back to Matt Gaetz, that putz from the panhandle. Gaetz was right about former Rep. Katie Hill, right about the War Powers resolution, right about the corrosive effect of PAC money, and now he's right about Richard Burr.
Damn if that asshole isn't right again! Because unless Burr was stupid enough to send an email to his broker saying, "Stan, those nerds at the NSA say this coronavirus thing is going to tank the hospitality industry, sell all my hotel stock!" then the intent requirement of the Stock Act is going to be pretty hard to prove. And Burr is a shifty sumbitch, but he's not A IDIOT, so the Justice Department may well drop the whole matter pretty fast. But the whole thing just REEKS.
So, credit where credit is due, give it up for Matt Gaetz. He'll no doubt go back to ordering pizza from the congressional SCIF tomorrow, but for today, he's is RIGHT ABOUT A THING.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.