New York Congressman Chris Collins indicted on insider trading charges

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Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has been indicted on insider trading charges that were filed by the Justice Department.

The report details how Collins met with officials at the National Institutes of Health to discuss the development of a drug made by Innate, a company whose board he served on.

Prosecutors allege that Collins gave nonpublic information about drug trial results to his son to help him "make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others". Reps. John Culberson of Houston and Mike Conaway of Midland had also bought shares in the firm, though they apparently didn't dump shares shortly before the price crashed - unlike Collins' son, whose well-timed sale is at the heart of the insider trading case. The indictment says the trades allowed Cameron Collins and others to avoid more than $768,000 in losses. "We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated", Baker Hostetler attorneys Johnathan Barr and Jonathan New said in the statement.

Collins, who represents Buffalo's suburbs and counties in upstate NY, was the first House Republican to openly support Trump's bid for the party's nomination in the 2016 race, and he has remained a loyalist to the president.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan will speak about the indictment during a news conference scheduled for noon.

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The Office of Congressional Ethics recommended the House ethics committee dismiss a third charge against Collins regarding a discount he received on a private sale of Innate stock because he was a member of Congress.

Collins was taken into custody in Manhattan.

Collins's lawyers say they will clear Collins' "good name" and cite the indictment's lack of any allegation that Collins himself "traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock".

Collins was one of President Donald Trump's earliest supporters and acted as the congressional liaison for Trump's 2016 campaign.

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