DERBY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Rep. Chris Collins said he was “pleased” one day after federal prosecutors dropped three charges against him in a superseding indictment.
“We were certainly not expecting what happened (Tuesday),” Collins said after an event in Derby.
Prosecutors in New York re-presented Collins insider trading case to a new grand jury. The new indictment drops three securities fraud charges from the Clarence Republican.
“We raised Speech or Debate issues,” Collins said. “I guess it would appear those were serious enough, real enough, that the Southern District (of New York) decided to do what they could to take those off the table.”
The Speech or Debate clause of the Constitution protects certain actions by congresspeople while they are on Capitol Hill. The superseding indictment left out evidence has been using the clause to challenge.
Collins still faces other counts of securities fraud, as well as charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and lying to the FBI. The new indictment also drops two securities fraud charges against Collins’ son Cameron.
In a letter to the judge, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman wrote, “The government has made these modifications to the original indictment in an effort to avoid unnecessary pretrial litigation that could delay the resolution of this matter, including the possibility of an interlocutory appeal.”
The trial is currently scheduled for February 3rd.
“I want it to start when we are prepared,” Collins said, hinting his lawyers need to review the new indictment.