Ethics Committee extends review of Rep. Chris Collins

The Office of Congressional Ethics recommended on Thursday that one of Trump's biggest supporters in Congress, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) be investigated for insider trading. Based on that report, the House Ethics Committee said it was continuing its investigation of Collins, a Republican from Clarence and one of President Trump's strongest congressional allies.

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), an independent entity that reviews allegations against House members, concluded in a report that there is "substantial reason to believe" Collins improperly shared nonpublic information in the purchase of Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited stocks. It also says there is substantial reason to believe that Collins took action for his personal financial gain.

"They're a waste of taxpayer money and they accomplish nothing", Collins told reporters in the Capitol.

Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsTrump ally: Timing on Russian Federation investigation tweet "could have been better" Ethics investigators looking into GOP rep's investment partners: report GOP rep unaware of health bill's impact on his state despite voting for it MORE (R-N.Y.) may have violated federal law and House rules by sharing nonpublic information with investors of an Australian pharmaceutical company, the Office of Congressional Ethics alleged in a report released Thursday.

The OCE recommended the Ethics Committee further review two allegations against Collins: that he shared non-public information that may have been important to investors deciding whether to purchase company stock, and that he used his official role to assist Innate by discussing the company with National Institutes of Health employees.

"Rep. Collins has done nothing improper, and his cooperation and candor during the OCE review process confirm he has nothing to hide", Braden said in a letter to the House Ethics Committee. "How do Western New Yorkers feel about Rep. Collins possibly breaking federal law by engaging in insider trading?"

Pursuant to Committee Rule 17A, the Committee hereby publishes OCE's Report and Findings relating to allegations against Representative Collins, and Representative Collins's response to OCE's Report and Findings.

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"Throughout my tenure in Congress I have followed all rules and ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments". "Rep. Collins has done nothing improper, and his cooperation and candor during the OCE review process confirm he has nothing to hide", they wrote in an August 14 letter released Thursday by the Ethics Committee.

OCE identified multiple instances in which Collins provided updates to US investors regarding clinical trials and a private placement offering.

Price did not cooperate with the OCE probe, according to the report.

He noted that the Office of Congressional Ethics dismissed other allegations against Collins, such as Rep. Louise M. Slaughter's charge that he wrote a provision in a bill called the 21st Century Cures Act to benefit Innate.

An unnamed NIH employee told investigators that Collins represented himself as being connected with Innate Immuno and said the firm was in need of "some help with the design of the next Phase 2 trial and he asked me whether I would be willing to help them, and I said yes". The official then invited Collins for a visit. In that meeting, Collins is alleged to have asked with help in designing Innate Immuno's drug trial. The company's prospects tanked after its multiple sclerosis drug failed to demonstrate a meaningful benefit for patients.

In interviews with OCE, Collins "stated that he went to NIH as a private citizen and that his visit had no relation to any official duties" but also described it as akin to a "high school field trip", the report said.

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