Politics

Chris Collins Joins Long List of Indicted Members of Congress

New York Republican intends to stay in office

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., joins a long line of Congress members indicted while in office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Chris Collins' plans to keep his seat after his federal indictment Wednesday for insider trading puts him on a long list of members of Congress who have faced criminal charges while in office. 

In 2015, after  Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., was indicted for allegations of mishandling money, the Washington Post listed more than two dozen sitting members who had been indicted since 1980. 

That list included Sen. Bob Menendez, who stayed in office for two years while he fought federal corruption charges that were eventually dropped

Collins counts as a House colleague Greg Gianforte, R-Mt., who won a special election in May while facing criminal charges for body slamming a reporter. Gianforte was sentenced in July to 20 hours of anger management counseling and 40 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty.

Fattah, by the way, stayed in his seat for almost a year, resigning only under pressure from House leaders after he was convicted.

Collins himself hasn’t acted terribly concerned about investigations into his alleged abuse of position on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australia-based pharmaceutical company.

Collins wrote in an email to supporters that he would still seek re-election in the 27th District. His attorneys issued a statement saying they would mount a “vigorous defense” on his behalf.

Reporters have overheard him in recent months discussing his stock trades just off the House floor, even as he faced a House Ethics Committee investigation for possibly violating federal law and House rules by allegedly doling out stock tips and getting special deals on shares. 

The indictment, released Wednesday, alleges Collins warned his son and family friends to sell off their Innate shares before the negative results of a drug trial were released to the public.

 

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