Federal agents questioned Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in recent days over her husband’s decision to sell stock ahead of the coronavirus outbreak.
Feinstein, a senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, confirmed on Thursday that she had spoken “voluntarily” with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding that matter, according to Politico. The California Democrat also purportedly handed over documents to federal agents to indicate she had “no involvement” in her husband’s decision to sell off between $500,000 to $1 million in a biotech company, Allogene Therapeutics, this past January.
The sale, which coincided with the stock trading at its 2020 low, came shortly before the market tumbled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Feinstein’s admission came on the same day that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) temporarily stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee because of an ongoing investigation into his own unloading of stock in February.
Burr, who is not only facing a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe, but one from the Securities and Exchange Commission as well, made the announcement after the FBI seized his cell phone on Wednesday at his Washington, DC, home.
Law enforcement officials are supposedly attempting to establish a timeline of when the senator decided to sell upwards of $1.72 million in stock this past February. At the time, Burr was receiving nearly daily briefings from the Senate Intelligence Committee on the coronavirus threat, and there is speculation he may have acted on information privy only to members of his panel. Even more troubling is that Burr’s brother-in-law, a political appointee of President Donald Trump, also dumped upwards of $280,000 in stock on the same day as the senator.
Unlike Burr, who unloaded stock mainly in travel and hospitality companies that were hardest hit due to the coronavirus travel restrictions, Feinstein’s former shares in Allogene have since increased in value. It remains unclear if the DOJ has opened an investigation into Feinstein and her husband for the sale.