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Collins Paints Himself as Medical Patron, Won’t Drop Re-Election Bid

Roll Call logo Roll Call 8/9/2018 Todd Ruger
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., shown here on June 20, called a Wednesday evening press conference about his indictment and then delayed it several times. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo) © Provided by CQ Roll Call, Inc. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., shown here on June 20, called a Wednesday evening press conference about his indictment and then delayed it several times. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Chris Collins announced Wednesday night he will stay in office and remain in his race for re-election, calling criminal insider trading charges filed against him earlier in the day “meritless.”

The New York Republican highlighted his long affiliation with Australian biotechnology company Innate Immunotherapeutics, saying he was the biggest investor and lost most of the money he invested when it failed a clinical drug trial to treat multiple sclerosis.

“I will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name,” Collins said. “I look forward to being fully vindicated and exonerated, ending any and all questions relating to my affiliation with Innate.”

Collins said he will not address any issues related to Innate outside the courtroom.

“My real concern lies with the millions of people suffering with secondary progressive MS,” he said. “We firmly believed we were on the verge of a medical breakthrough.”

Earlier in the day, hours after Collins’ arrest, Speaker Paul D. Ryan booted the third-term congressman from the House Energy and Commerce Committee “until this matter is settled,” saying “insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust.”

Collins passed nonpublic information about Innate’s drug trial results to his son to help him “make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others,” the indictment alleges.

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