PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO available here: The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York is expected to detail the charges in a press conference at noon. Paul Ryan removes Rep. Collins from House Energy and Commerce Committee.
PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO AVAILABLE HERE
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House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday booted Rep. Chris Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee pending the outcome of a probe of allegations of insider-trading on a drug-company stock.
Ryan announced Collins' removal shortly before federal prosecutors in New York City were set to discuss an indictment against Collins.
"While his guilt or innocence is a question for the courts to settle, the allegations against Rep. Collins demand a prompt and thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee," Ryan said in a prepared statement.
"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."
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said, "The charges against Congressman Collins show the rampant culture of corruption and self-enrichment among Republicans in Washington today. The Ethics Committee must accelerate its own investigation into Congressman Collins' illegal abuse of the public trust."
"The American people deserve better than the GOP's corruption, cronyism, and incompetence. Delivering A Better Deal for hard-working families means enacting tougher ethics laws to crack down on the self-dealing that has metastasized under the GOP Congress and the Trump Administration," said Pelosi.
Chris Collins, a Republican congressman from New York, surrendered to the FBI on Wednesday morning on insider trading charges lodged by the Justice Department.
Collins, 68, faces insider trading charges along with his son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins' fiancée, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.
The indictment relates to "securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics ... an Australian biotechnology company on whose board of directors Christopher Collins served," the DOJ said.
Collins passed nonpublic information about Innate's drug trial results to his son in order to help him "make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others," the indictment alleges.
His son then traded on that inside information and passed it to Zarsky, along with numerous unnamed co-conspirators, "so that they could utilize the information for the same purpose," according to the indictment.
Zarsky, too, allegedly traded on the inside knowledge and passed it along to yet more unnamed co-conspirators.
In total, the three defendants avoided "over $768,000 in losses that they would have otherwise incurred" had they sold their stock after the information was made public, according to the indictment.
The defendants are accused of multiple counts of securities fraud, as well as one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count each of making false statements.
Collins, one of Donald Trump's early supporters in his bid for president, is expected to appear in federal court later Wednesday in Manhattan.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York is expected to detail the charges in a press conference at noon.