Home | About | Donate

Secret Recording Reveals GOP Intel Chair Warned Wealthy Donors About Coronavirus But Left Public in the Dark

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/19/secret-recording-reveals-gop-intel-chair-warned-wealthy-donors-about-coronavirus

5 Likes

D.C. knew that the 125 mile per hour pile up was going to hit us hard. Transmission is probably far easier than just being in the path of someone sneezing or coughing.

And just how did our high school students learn about this C-19 virus arriving here. They were told at school mid January.

Too many individual contradictions are amiss.

Either DC is as dumb as I’ve been advised or more evil than any of us can imagine…

13 Likes

Doesn’t matter. They do insider trading, operate lawlessly, and are immoral as the day is long. I don’t think they care one iota about the general public, unless it hurts their reelections.

25 Likes

They definitely are traitors to the american people.

11 Likes

There’s little evidence they aren’t both.

8 Likes

Burr dumped his stock the week before he gave the heads-up to his wealthy donors.

Can’t copy links into the comments here, but the story is available on R a w s t o r y . c o m

5 Likes

Burr was one of just three senators who in 2012 opposed [the bill] that explicitly barred lawmakers and their staff from using nonpublic information for trades and required regular disclosure of those trades. In opposing the bill, Burr argued at the time that insider trading laws already applied to members of Congress. President Barack Obama signed the bill, known as the STOCK Act, that year.

12 Likes

The STOCK Act - the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 - prohibits insider trading by not just congressional creatures, but also by executive and judicial beasts.

Of course in 2013 the Congress made it a lot harder to track and enforce trading by elected officials (see report pasted below), but it is still illegal.


NPR, April 16, 2013, reported:
How Congress Quietly Overhauled Its Insider-Trading Law
The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.

That’s what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.

A year ago, President Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act into law at a celebratory ceremony attended by a bipartisan cast of lawmakers.

“I want to thank all the members of Congress who came together and worked to get this done,” he said.

The law wouldn’t just outlaw trading on nonpublic information by members of Congress, the executive branch and their staffs. It would greatly expand financial disclosures and make all of the data searchable so insider trading and conflicts of interest would be easier to detect.

But on Monday, when the president signed a bill reversing big pieces of the law, the emailed announcement was one sentence long. There was no fanfare last week either, when the Senate and then the House passed the bill in largely empty chambers using a fast-track procedure known as unanimous consent.

In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., shepherded the bill through. It was Friday afternoon at 12:52. Many members had already left for the weekend or were on their way out. The whole process took only 30 seconds. There was no debate.

“There weren’t too many members of Congress who were aware of this legislation,” says Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “And I suspect very, very few understood what a sweeping radical change it is to the STOCK Act.”

Records In The Basement

To understand how the law changed, I asked Holman to meet me in the basement of the Cannon House Office Building.

“This is where the public records are kept, for those who can handle traveling to Washington, D.C.,” Holman explained.

That’s right. If you want to look up the financial disclosure forms filed by high-level congressional staffers — say, to find out whether they’ve been using the privileges of their positions to make well-timed stock trades — you have to come to this office.

Holman showed me how it works. You have to enter your name and address into a computer, and then you can search. But you have to know the name of the person you are searching for. If he or she has filed a financial disclosure form, it will come up as a PDF, which you can print at a cost of 10 cents a page.

“The database itself is almost meaningless,” says Holman. He says the only option for those who want to get a comprehensive look at what some 2,900 staffers have filed is to review the cases one by one. “And that’s just too big a job for anybody to do.”

The STOCK Act was supposed to make this task significantly easier. Records for members of Congress, the executive branch and their staffs were supposed to be posted online in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format.

If you wanted to see who traded health care stock just before a committee acted on a health care bill, it would be easy. No trips to the basement required.

But there were concerns, especially among the 28,000 executive branch staff who would be required to post their financial disclosures online.

Going Too Far?

“There were particular concerns about risks for those who either travel overseas on government business or work overseas,” says Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, who represents many of those executive branch employees.

An independent study said there were also risks of identity theft, which she says the new law helps avoid.

“What has been eliminated now is the ability of people to go phishing, if you will,” she says.

The White House cited the independent report in explaining why the president signed the bill. And a spokesman for Cantor said the House and Senate were simply following recommendations of the study. But Lisa Rosenberg, a lobbyist for the Sunlight Foundation, which advocated for the STOCK Act, says Congress went too far.

“It’s really shocking that they used basically the situation of questions about whether some language in the bill was overbroad to just gut the bill — to gut the transparency measures that apply to themselves,” she says.

Still, two major elements of the law remain. Insider trading is illegal, even for members of Congress and the executive branch. And for those who are covered by the now-narrower law, disclosures of large stock trades are required within 45 days. It will just be harder to get to them.

12 Likes

And the Republicans are concerned about Hunter Biden???

16 Likes

Burr is one of my two senators, and I have always thought of him as a greasy opportunist with nothing in his head but feathering his own nest. His Junior is a witless dipstick who makes pretty noises. And many of their constituents love them both, largely because they are consistently anti-abortion.

8 Likes

Burr needs to be perp-walked in big ass hurry.

9 Likes

add in all the dem congress people end the duopoly…

3 Likes

If anyone is still shocked and surprised by this sort of behavior by our elected officials, of both parties, then you need to be “woke”, and fast.
Actually, this is common behavior in our government. Just ask any Indigenous person. They’ve been on the take and on the make since 1776, and, before that, as a colony.
I listen to CBC Radio news about Covid-19. Not that they’re better than we are in terms of colonial history and sectionalism, but when it comes down to live-or-die issues, they know they’re in it together. On our side of the River, it’s still Randian individualism. I still see many people walking in large groups, especially the young.

5 Likes

Since Senator Burr has already said he was not running for re-election in 2022, even the threat of being voted out has no bearing on his ability to get away with this over-the-top corrupt practice.

6 Likes

Yes, as my friend says of such things, it’s mind bending in its level of corruption, but not surprising.

What do you think the chances of him being arrested and prosecuted? The corruption of capitalism is breathtaking.

3 Likes

0.001% (others may think lower as I am often criticized for being too much of an optimist)

4 Likes

Hi oldie:
It looks like “more evil,” has won out over"dumb." : (

4 Likes

MOST in DC in BOTH Parties are greasy opportunist bottom feeders. We really must clean house if WE are going to survive

Yes, and wasn’t the promise to do just that by Agent Adolf Orange that got him enough votes from people without enough grasp on How The World Works to put him in the White House?

1 Like