Judge makes key order in case against Congressman Collins

Politics

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Pretrial motions in Rep. Chris Collins’ insider trading case came back against the Western New York congressman.

Collins is charged with insider trading and lying to the FBI. His trial is scheduled to begin in February, but a status conference for him and two other defendants, including his son, is set for Thursday in Manhattan.

U.S. Southern District Judge Vernon Broderick sent down the order on Friday last week, which covered what has so far been the lynchpin question in the case, posed by Collins’ attorneys – whether the information used to charge Collins is protected under federal law. The speech or debate clause is intended to shield lawmakers from other branches of government, like the judicial branch.

Broderick ruled the searches didn’t involve official accounts or congressional offices, so that was denied.

Collins’ attorneys also requested federal prosecutors turn over additional evidence through discovery that would allow them to better argue whether the information they have is protected under that clause. Broderick ruled that the government met this Brady obligation.

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