New York Republican representative Chris Collins announced he was suspending his campaign for re-elections, days after federal prosecutors charged him with insider trading.
New York Times reports that Mr. Collins, who initially vowed to stay on the ballot this fall, said that he decided it was “in the best interests of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda” to suspend his race.
He said he would stay in Congress through the rest of his term and continued to call the charges against him “meritless.”
“I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing,” he said.
Mr. Collins, who was the first member of Congress to endorse Mr. Trump, represents a district in western New York that is one of the state’s most conservative, one in which Mr. Trump had his strongest showing.
Background from New York Times
Representative Chris Collins was at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House last summer when he received an unexpected email from the head of a drug company in which he was heavily invested. The company’s only product — an experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis — had just failed a do-or-die scientific trial.
What Mr. Collins did next, apparently in a state of panic, forms the core of a federal indictment unsealed on Wednesday in New York that accuses him of insider trading and lying to federal agents. Federal prosecutors charged Mr. Collins with brazenly using his private information about the company to help his son and others avoid financial disaster.
The charges against Mr. Collins, a New York Republican who was one of President Trump’s earliest and most ardent supporters, stem from his involvement with Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, a small drug maker based in Australia, which had no approved drugs but several well-placed allies in the capital.
Within minutes of learning about the company’s unsuccessful test, Mr. Collins frantically called his son, Cameron Collins, who, in the days that followed, sold off his stock, avoiding losses of more than $570,000, prosecutors said.
New York Times