This morning, Representative Chris Collins, who was famously the earliest sitting member of Congress to back Donald Trump's bid for the White House, was indicted for insider trading and arrested by the FBI.
JUST IN: Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), Trump’s earliest congressional backer, arrested by the FBI on securities fraud-… https://t.co/XxYUqD6zXv— Peter Alexander (@Peter Alexander)1533734352.0
According to the indictment, Collins, along with his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of the younger Collins's fiancee, were indicted for securities fraud related to Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited.
The charges also include wire fraud and false statements.
DOJ: Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) has been charged with alleged securities fraud, wire fraud, false statements. https://t.co/wmPNPKx6b0— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1533735494.0
According to a Daily Beast expose last year, Collins purchased $2.2 million of stock in the biotech firm in 2013 as part of its IPO.
The IPO prospectus said Innate would seek FDA approval of its drug to treat multiple sclerosis. More than a year later, Collins wrote into a bill language to expedite the FDA’s approval process for such drugs. Four months before the bill was signed into law, Collins again purchased stock in Innate, this time as much as $1 million.
A statement from Collins's spokesman maintained his innocence:
"We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name. It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated.
Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today."
The news is breaking on Twitter this morning:
Indictment relates to Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics. Rep. Chris Collins was a board member.… https://t.co/C2TVZ2TbZb— Caroline Orr (@Caroline Orr)1533736265.0
Congressman Chris Collins charged with insider trading by my former office, SDNY https://t.co/dB47gsdhYL— Preet Bharara (@Preet Bharara)1533735680.0
Congressman Chris Collins, a Republican who called for an end to the Mueller investigation in recent days, has been… https://t.co/W7kjbkn5sD— Adam Parkhomenko (@Adam Parkhomenko)1533735338.0
Republican Rep. Chris Collins surrendered to the FBI this morning on securities fraud-related charges, prosecutors… https://t.co/cLjBqYIuso— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1533736200.0
Leading some to remind everyone of the Democrat running against Collins in November, Nate McMurray:
Folks, you may want to get acquainted with @Nate_McMurray, Democrat running for Congress in Chris Collins' district. https://t.co/UuUBIVyuf3— George Zornick (@George Zornick)1533734979.0
Get to know more about #NY27 candidate #NateMcMurrary, champion of the working class, down below and here:… https://t.co/65Or9Zomyg— Studio Moon NY (@Studio Moon NY)1533732344.0
And Twiiter was hardly surprised to see this from a Trump ally:
@CNN @jaketapper Gee another one bites the dust! It’s becoming almost routine!— Daisy (@Daisy)1533739959.0
@CNN #MAGA. Yeah. Many Are Going Away. #RESISTANCE— Lawrence (@Lawrence)1533740225.0
Will Speaker Ryan weigh in?
.@SpeakerRyan-Let’s see how useless you really are. One of your Reps, Chris Collins, was just arrested for insider… https://t.co/wyQzUblcAV— Scott Dworkin (@Scott Dworkin)1533736930.0
Donald Trump has not yet made a comment about Collins's indictment.