GOP Congressman Chris Collins Suspends Re-election Campaign

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According to CNN, New York Republican Representative Chris Collins suspended his re-election campaign on Saturday following his arrest earlier this week due to insider trading allegations.

Collins released a statement Saturday morning notifying the public that he has suspended his congressional campaign. “After extensive discussions with my family and friends over the last few days,” the statement read, “I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress.” This statement comes just a day after Collins vowed to continue running his reelection campaign upon his arrest, referring to the charges against him as “meritless.”

Along with his son and another man, Collins was arrested and charged on Wednesday with 13 counts of security fraud, wire fraud, and false statements originating from an insider trading scheme involving an Australian pharmaceutical company. According to the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, Nick Biase, Collins is facing a prison sentence upwards of 150 years if he is convicted on all charges.

Collins, however, continues to insist that he is not guilty, adding that, although he is suspending his campaign, he vows to”fight the meritless charges brought against” him and looks forward to clearing his name of “any wrongdoing.”

Collins first joined the U.S. House of Representatives when he was elected in 2012. Formerly an affluent businessman, Collins is among the top 10 wealthiest lawmakers in the country, currently maintaining an average net worth of $60 million. The Republican Congressman, however, has since landed himself in legal jeopardy after allegedly selling shares of the Australian pharmaceutical company mentioned above. In addition, Collins has been accused of “funneling nonpublic information about a failed drug trial to his son before the company announced it publicly.”

Collins’ son, on the other hand, is facing charges for reportedly “dumping more than a million shares of the company’s stock ahead of a steep plunge in its price.”

In his statement, Collins also noted that he is not stepping down from as a New York House Representative right away, but will rather continue to serve the country and his state for the remainder of his term. “I will fill out the remaining few months of my term,” he stated, “to assure that our community maintains its vote in Congress to support President Trump’s agenda to create jobs, eliminate regulations, reduce the size of government, address immigration and lower taxes.”