Collins files appeal in insider trading case; effect on trial date unclear

Local News

NEW YORK (WIVB) – Rep. Chris Collins has appealed a recent decision by the judge in his insider trading case. It could create a delay that leads to the postponement of his trail date, which is currently scheduled for February 3rd, 2020.

In a letter sent to Judge Vernon Broderick, on Friday, Collins’ attorney said he has filed an appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal revolves around Speech or Debate concerns that Collins has raised.

“Congressman Collins does not anticipate filing any further motions in this Court bearing on the Speech or Debase Clause during the pendency of this appeal,” Jonathan Barr wrote.

Barr is Collins’ lead attorney in the case.

The Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution protects certain actions by congresspeople while they are at work. Collins has been asking for prosecutors to turn over more evidence that he thinks will prove his Speech or Debate rights were violated as the federal government investigated his case.

On September 6th, however, Broderick filed a ruling stating Collins was not entitled to receive that evidence. The Court of Appeals will now answer the same question.

While it could force a delay in the February trial date, attorney Cheryl Meyers Buth, who is not associated with the Collins case, says the trial date could still be saved.

“It depends on what the 2nd Circuit does,” Buth said. “They could issue, for example, an expedited briefing schedule which would require the government and Congressman Collins’ attorneys to file briefs much quicker than they would normally require.

Collins is accused of sending an insider tip about a drug trial to his son Cameron, who then allegedly passed the tip to his future father-in-law, Stephen Zarsky. All three are facing charges.

Prosecutors have raised the possibility of splitting up the case. Under that scenario, only Cameron Collins and Zarksy would go to trial in February. Chris Collins would go on trial at a later date.

All three defendants, however had objected to that proposal.

“We believe there should be one (trial),” Rep. Collins said after a court appearance earlier this month. “It was one indictment.”

Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the appeal. Barr did not respond to a request for comment.

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