Rep. Collins maintains innocence in insider trading case

National

NEW YORK (NEWS10) — Congressman Chris Collins was back in a courtroom Thursday as the insider trading case against him moves closer to trial.

Collins declared his innocence outside court. He expressed confidence despite a ruling against him by the judge just a few days ago.

Collins wanted the feds to turn over more evidence, but the judge said no. Thursday, Collins and his co-defendants discussed the scheduling for the rest of the case.

“This was the formality today. Simple slogging along,” he said.

Collins is accused of passing an insider tip about a drug trial to his son Cameron, who then allegedly passed the tip to Stephen Zarsky, his future father-in-law. Prosecutors say those two dumped their stock just in time, and all three are facing insider trading charges.

“We have our defense,” Collins said. “We’ve not put that on, yet. I am as I’ve said and continue to say. I’m innocent.”

In court Thursday, Collins’s attorney said he’s still considering appealing the judge’s recent decision to reject the defense’s request to see more evidence. Collins’s attorneys believe that evidence might prove the congressman’s constitutional rights were violated, especially speech and debate rights.

Those protect certain actions of congresspeople while they’re at work. If Collins appeals the judge’s ruling, the February 3 trial date could be in jeopardy.

Prosecutors have raised the possibility of separating Collins’s trial from the other two. That’s something all the defendants object to.

“We believe it should be one. It was one indictment. One instance that they’re alleging,” Collins said.

Collins missed five votes in Washington to be in Manhattan.

“This is the first day I will have missed a single vote related to the case,” he said. “To the best of my knowledge, the vote today is not a significant vote. We will put on the record what my vote would have been.”

Collins was also asked about his political future. He has not yet said whether he will run for re-election next year.

He said a decision would come by the end of the year, but he said if he runs, he’s confident he’ll win.

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