Panel asks probe of con­gress­man

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., ac­cused of ethics vi­o­la­tions

Albuquerque Journal - - NATION & WORLD - BY KEVIN FREKING

WASH­ING­TON — Con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors say there is a “sub­stan­tial rea­son to be­lieve” Re­pub­li­can Rep. Chris Collins of New York shared ma­te­rial, non­pub­lic in­for­ma­tion about a drug com­pany he had a ma­jor fi­nan­cial stake in and took of­fi­cial ac­tions to as­sist the com­pany.

The con­clu­sions were in­cluded in an an­nounce­ment Thurs­day from the House Ethics Com­mit­tee that it was ex­tend­ing its re­view of the three-term con­gress­man, an early and strong sup­porter of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Collins, who has de­nied any wrong­do­ing, was the largest share­holder of Aus­tralia’s In­nate Im­munother­a­peu­tics Lim­ited and sat on the com­pany’s board of di­rec­tors. An ethics watch­dog group al­leged Collins spon­sored leg­is­la­tion that would ben­e­fit the com­pany and said his ac­tive stock trad­ing war­ranted in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The in­de­pen­dent Of­fice of Con­gres­sional Ethics con­ducted the ini­tial re­view and sub­mit­ted a 29-page re­port along with its rec­om­men­da­tions to the ethics panel.

The OCE rec­om­mended the Ethics Com­mit­tee fur­ther re­view two al­le­ga­tions against Collins:

That he shared non­pub­lic ■ in­for­ma­tion that may have been im­por­tant to in­vestors de­cid­ing whether to pur­chase In­nate stock.

That he used his of­fi­cial ■ role as a con­gress­man to as­sist In­nate by dis­cussing the com­pany with Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health em­ploy­ees and re­quest­ing that a govern­ment re­searcher meet with the com­pany’s chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer.

The OCE rec­om­mended the dis­missal of a third al­le­ga­tion that Collins pur­chased dis­counted stock of­fered to him be­cause he’s a con­gress­man.


Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., is ac­cused of us­ing his of­fice to im­prove the prospects of an Aus­tralian drug com­pany in which he was the largest share­holder.

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