U.S. Rep. Chris Collins is well within his rights to run for re-election while the federal government prosecutes him on a charge of insider trading.
The New York Republican, though, might be handing local and national Democrats a gift they never thought they’d get.
The FBI took Collins into custody on a charge that he gave insider trading information on stocks. The lawmaker then held a press event in which he declared the charge is “without merit.”
He then said he is going to run for re-election.
Good luck with that one, sir.
Collins has the distinction of being the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. He was No. 1. The leader of the congressional “pack.”
He’s not the first lawmaker to seek re-election while under investigation. U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez did so, too. The Democrat wasn’t exactly cleared; the jury that heard his corruption case got hung up and couldn’t deliver a verdict, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.
Collins’s decision to stay on the ballot does carry huge risk, not just for him, but others within the GOP. He well might have given Democrats all across the land a huge cache of ammo to use against Republican opponents.
Beware the blue wave. There might be swells building at this moment.