FBI reportedly issued warrant to Apple to get data from Sen. Burr's iCloud account

The FBI is looking into stock trades made by the senator amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Carrie Mihalcik Former Managing Editor / News
Carrie was a managing editor at CNET focused on breaking and trending news. She'd been reporting and editing for more than a decade, including at the National Journal and Current TV.
Expertise Breaking News, Technology Credentials
  • Carrie has lived on both coasts and can definitively say that Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are the best.
Carrie Mihalcik
2 min read

Data from the senator's iCloud account was reportedly used to obtain a warrant for his phone. 

Angela Lang/CNET

FBI agents reportedly seized the cellphone of Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday as part of an investigation into stock trades he made before the market plunged due to the coronavirus pandemic. In order to get a warrant for the senator's phone, the FBI first turned to Apple , according to a report from the Los Angeles Times

The agency recently served a warrant to Apple to get information from Burr's iCloud account, according to the Times, citing an unnamed law enforcement official. The data that the FBI agents got from Apple was then used as part of the evidence needed to obtain a warrant for Burr's phone, according to the Times. 

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment. 

Between late January and mid-February, Burr and his wife sold between $600,000 and $1.7 million in stocks over 30 transactions, according to CBS News. Many of the stocks traded were in industries hit hard by the coronavirus. The FBI is reportedly investigating whether Burr violated a law preventing members of Congress from trading stocks based on information they receive through official work that isn't available to the public. (Editors' note: CNET and CBS News are both owned by ViacomCBS.)

The FBI and a spokeswoman for Burr's office both declined to comment. 

Burr has publicly defended the transactions, according to CBS News, saying he relied solely on public news reports. He's also asked the Senate Ethics Committee to review of the matter.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Burr would step aside as chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the investigation. 

See also: Our in-depth review of the 2020 Apple iPhone SE

Watch this: iPhone SE: 5 cinematic camera tricks