On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), a member of Trump’s transition team and the first member of Congress to support the former reality show star’s presidential campaign, was arrested for insider trading. Collins is accused of sharing inside information which he then passed on to at least one conspirator. Collins’ actions were so alarming that Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), called for an investigation over his investments in an Australian biotech company.
“Innate [Immunotherapeutics, the biotech] plummeted in value by more than 90 percent literally overnight,” Slaughter said in a statement. “This follows the company previously suggesting a great response to its drug and touting that it stood to generate as much as $3 billion in profits in this country alone.”
“This raises very serious questions as to when Congressman Collins knew about the drug’s performance and who is responsible for the suspicious trading before the drug’s failure was publicly known,” she continued. “Did Congressman Collins come here to make money for himself or to represent his constituents? This development only raises more questions, and we need to get the answers. It cries out for an investigation.”
The New York Republican, worth $66 million, enjoyed bragging about his wealth.
OH in the speaker’s lobby: ‘Do you know how many millionaires I’ve made in Buffalo the past few months?’ –@RepChrisCollins on his cellphone
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 10, 2017
Collins reportedly urged Republican members of Congress to invest.
“If you get in early, you’ll make a big profit,” Collins told House Republicans last year.
Apparently, Collins delivered a convincing pitch to his colleagues.
Raw Story compiled a list of at least six Republicans:
1. Tom Price, who served as Secretary of Health and Human Services. During his confirmation hearings, Price was accused of taking advantage of a special deal on Innate stock only available to a select number of lawmakers at a discount offered by Collins.
2. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX): The Texas Republican claimed he heard about Innate from media reports, but as the Houston Chronicle noted, it’s not clear which. At the time of his purchase, Innate was described as “a tiny pharmaceutical company from Australia that has no approved drugs and no backing from flashy venture capital firms.” The Chronicle pointed out that Culberson’s past investment history does not square with his purchase of biotech stocks and his opponent, a research physician, has wondered what led Culberson to invest, “since at the time he bought it in January there had been no published research articles or significant clinical trial updates on the drug, known as MIS416.”
3. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) is another Texas lawmaker who bought large shares in Innate. He does not appear to have purchased Innate stock at a discount.
4. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) sat Health Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce at the time of his stock purchase, raising a possible conflict of interest, reports the Daily Beast.
5. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) sat on the subcommittee as well.
6. Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) reportedly became far more active in the stock market in 2015. Long sat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which addresses health policy.
Claims of insider trading were made against Tom Price during his confirmation hearing.
Collins, his son Cameron, and the father of his son’s fiancée, Stephen Zarsky, was arrested by FBI agents early Wednesday morning.
We’re going to have to build a wall around Republicans until we can figure out what’s going on.
Featured image via screen capture