Rep. Chris Collins suspends re-election campaign days after arrest on insider trading charges

Rep. Chris Collins, the New York Republican congressman who is charged with insider trading, said Saturday he is suspending his re-election bid to keep Democrats from electing a pro-impeachment candidate in the district.

While noting in his statement on Twitter that he is suspending his campaign, he made it clear that he was in effect dropping out of the race in New York’s 27th Congressional District. 

He said Democrats are “laser focused” on taking back the House and launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

“They would like nothing more than to elect an ‘impeach Trump” Democrat in this district, which is something that neither our country or my party can afford” he tweeted Saturday.

He said he will “fill out the remaining few months” of his term to support Trump’s agenda.

Collins was arrested Wednesday morning after a federal grand jury indicted him on insider trading charges as well as lying to federal agents.

Collins and his co-defendants surrendered to authorities Wednesday morning in Manhattan, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s Southern District.

All three pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned in federal court, with bail for each set at $500,000. The judge set a return date of Oct. 11 for a status hearing.

Collins addressed the media later Wednesday in a seven-minute statement after which he didn’t take any questions. He said he hasn’t violated ethical guidelines with his personal investments and also vowed to remain on the ballot for re-election in New York’s 27th Congressional District in November. 

“The charges that have been levied against me are meritless and I will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name,” Collins said.

Contributing: Sean Lahman,Meaghan M. McDermott and Will Cleveland, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

 

 

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