Another Republican goes down in flames, this time New York Congressman Chris Collins was picked up by the FBI for insider trading and fraud leaving the door wide open for his Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, was arrested Wednesday and charged with insider trading relating to an Australian biotechnology company, according to federal prosecutors.
The Buffalo-area congressman, who also served on the board of directors of the company Innate Immunotherapeutics and was the first member of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump's White House bid in 2016, is charged with passing nonpublic information about a multiple sclerosis drug to his son, Cameron, who shared it with his future father-in-law.
While the drug failed testing tanked the company's share price by 92 percent, Collins' tip allowed all three men to avoid nearly $800,000 in losses, according to the indictment.
Attorneys for Collins said they would "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name."
"We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated," they said in a statement.
The House Ethics Committee had been investigating the allegations against Collins since August of 2017. The Office of Congressional Ethics, in its report to the Ethics Committee found "substantial reason to believe" that Collins "shared material nonpublic information in purchasing stock" of Innate Immunotherapeutics, in violation of House rules, standards and federal law.
Collins, a vocal Trump ally, worked closely with the administration during the presidential transition, serving as the point of contact between lawmakers and the Trump transition team.
Needless to say, Collins's opponent, Nate McMurray, just had Christmas arrive in August. Both had an easy time of winning their respective primaries five weeks ago as they were unopposed, so McMurray has been going after Trump's tight relationship with Trump for some time now.
Still, this seat was entirely off the radar for the Dems, Cook Political Report has the district (which consists of the Niagara/Genesee farmland between Buffalo and Rochester) weighted as R+11 and even then Collins won in 2016 by almost 35 points, his support for Trump certainly didn't hurt him then.
Being in prison on the other hand might.