|Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York|
Donald Trump’s first congressional endorser, Rep. Chris Collins of New York, was not only investigated, but arrested on insider trading charges.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to federal insider trading charges, according to NBC News.
The congressman was arrested earlier in the day on charges that he shared non-public information with family and friends related to Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics, on which Collins served as a board member.
An indictment released Wednesday alleges that Collins, 68, scrambled to call his son from the White House lawn and share information with him about a failed drug trial, and that his son and others then sold stock based on that tip before the trial results became public.
Collins’ son, Cameron Collins, 25, as well as the father of his fiancee, Stephen Zarsky, 66, were also charged, according to the court filing. All three pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and will be released on $500,000 bond. Collins now must surrender his diplomatic passport and firearms within 14 days.
CNBC has also reported that Collins used campaign donations to pay legal bills while being investigated – probably not what his supporters expected their money to be used for.
Since July 2017, Federal Election Commission records show Collins’ campaign has been paying up to $60,000 per month in legal services to prestigious law firm BakerHostetler.
Collins announced Saturday that he is dropping his bid for reelection.