Allegations against Collins are ‘shocking and sad,’ McMurray says
Speaker Ryan removes Collins from House Energy and Commerce Committee ‘until this matter is settled’
Nate McMurray, the Democrat trying to unseat Chris Collins as representative for the 27th Congressional District, has questioned the ethics of Collins the past several months during McMurray’s stump speeches. McMurray has said often that Collins has been focused on enhancing his wealth and that of his friends.
Today, Collins, his son and his son’s finance’s father were charged with insider trading. McMurray responded to federal charges against the trio.
“Today’s allegations by the US attorney were shocking and sad, but not surprising – this has been unfolding, piece by piece, for many months,” McMurray said in a statement to the media. “Anyone who’s been paying attention knows what’s going on. And now the jig is up, because no matter how this is spun, it’s clear that the swamp is alive and well in Washington, DC.”
Collins is seeking a fourth term to Congress in an eight-county district with a heavy Republican advantage.
He was arrested along his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiancé. They have been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count each of making false statements to the FBI.
Collins is accused of using information from negative clinical trial tests conducted by Innate Immunotherapeutics, a pharmaceutical company. Collins was a member of Innate’s board of directors and a major shareholder for the biotech firm based in Australia.
In an indictment unsealed Wednesday morning, prosecutors say the congressman passed information to his son, who also is a major shareholder in the company. Cameron Collins is then accused of relaying inside information to others so they could time trades in the company to their benefit.
The investors in the know were able to sell shares, avoiding $768,000 in losses, before damaging news hit about a failed drug trial for Innate, according to the indictment.
“This investigation must go forward and all those involved must be held accountable so that we can restore integrity and trust to public life,” McMurray said.
Since the charges were announced this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, has removed Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Ryan issued this statement: “While his guilt or innocence is a question for the courts to settle, the allegations against Rep. Collins demand a prompt and through investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.”