A US politician is stepping down as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee after his mobile phone was seized by FBI agents.
Republican senator Richard Burr is being investigated over his share dealings before the US stock market crashed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There are reports that Mr Burr and other senators sold shares after being briefed privately on the risks of the COVID-19 crisis.
The FBI is apparently investigating whether Mr Burr broke any laws over these transactions.
Mr Burr has denied any wrongdoing and said he relied solely on news reports to guide decisions on stock sales.
He told reporters on Thursday he decided to step aside because he did not want the investigation to distract the intelligence committee from its work.
“I thought this was the best thing to do,” Mr Burr said.
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Since March, the US Justice Department has reportedly been looking into trades Mr Burr made in mid-February.
He apparently sold shares in dozens of companies, including many in sectors hard-hit by the pandemic, such as the hotel, restaurant and shipping industries.
Mr Burr turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on him at his Washington home.
The FBI also served a warrant recently to Apple to get information from Mr Burr’s cloud storage for his iPhone, a law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times.
Law enforcement agents used data from the technology company as part of evidence to get the phone warrant, the report added.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Mr Burr “contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as chairman of the intelligence committee during the pendency of the investigation”.
“We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”
President Trump said he did not know anything about Mr Burr’s decision to quit.
“I know nothing about it… That’s too bad,” he told reporters.