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Multiple news sites state Chris Collins resigning, changing plea

Mon, Sep 30th 2019 07:55 pm

UPDATE: Collins submitted his letter of resignation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

National news sites are reporting U.S. Rep Chris Collins has resigned. Moreover, they’ve stated he will be in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday (or sometime this week) to request a change of plea hearing, with regard to charges of insider trading.

Those vying for Collins’ seat were quick to comment on Monday.

Republican New York State Sen. Rob Ortt said, “It is vital that we continue to have a strong, conservative voice representing the residents of New York’s 27th Congressional District and elect a candidate who will defend President Trump’s agenda. I am the only candidate in this race who has proven that they are willing to do both. It is time that we send a battle-tested patriot to Washington who will stand up for our district, stand up to the ‘Party of Impeachment,’ and push back against the radical socialists running our nation’s Democrat Party.”

Democrat Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray, who narrowly lost to Collins last November, said, “The real victims of Collins' crimes are the people of his district that he repeatedly lied to about his guilt. Collins and Republican party insiders robbed his constituents of the representation they need on important issues like the rising cost of health care, the opioid epidemic, and the fight for good paying jobs. They all failed us, so I’m going to keep talking about the critical issues Western New Yorkers face every day, because that’s what public service should be about, working to make other people’s lives just a little bit better."

Democrat Congressman Brian Higgins, meanwhile, said, “For well over a year, the people of Western New York have been made to endure the consequences of the federal criminal indictment against Rep. Chris Collins, which show, in detail, how he disavowed the public’s trust for his own personal gain. His charges and subsequent suspension from deliberations in House committees and limited public engagements resulted in the people of Western New York – his 700,000-plus constituents – having lesser representation in Washington and here at home.

“Now, his resignation and expected change in plea to guilty, show to the people of Western New York and the nation that no one is above the law, no matter what level of privilege you possess.

“The Western New York community certainly deserves better. This resignation allows us to move forward.”

On Aug. 8, 2018, Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director-in-charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the arrests of Collins; his son, Cameron Collins; and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins' fiancée. They were arrested on charges of participating in a scheme to commit insider trading relating to securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company on whose board of directors Chris Collins served.

At that time, Collins called the charges “meritless” and tweeted, "Serving the people of the 27th District is an honor and a privilege. Today I had to address false charges that are being brought against me, but I want you all to know that as I fight to clear my name I will continue to work hard for the people of New York."

Collins was re-elected in November.

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