Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) was indicted on Wednesday and charged with insider trading along with his son. The congressman denied the charges against him and said he would continue with his bid for re-election in the 2018 midterms.
But three days later, Collins changed his mind.
“I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress,” he said in a statement.
In the statement, he also denied the allegations against him.
“I will also continue to fight the meritless charges against me and I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing,” he said.
Read the full statement from Collins here:
— Rep. Chris Collins (@RepChrisCollins) August 11, 2018
The charges against the congressman don’t say that Collins himself profited from insider trading practices but rather that he tipped off his son about a potential stock tank for Innate Immunotherapeutics. Collins’ son allegedly pulled out investments in the company before the predicted drop, saving him from over $500,000 in losses.
Collins faced pressure to drop out of the race in the days before he finally pulled the trigger. His Democratic opponent, Nate McMurray, was staunch in his pressure:
I can’t believe, several days after this news, that my opponent is still in this race and that the Republican establishment is not saying in unison “resign.” Mr. Collins, please do the right thing. Step down. They knew this was coming You should’ve never even been endorsed.
— Nate McMurray for Congress (@Nate_McMurray) August 11, 2018
While Collins dropping out of the race is good news for his critics, it still isn’t enough. Many are pushing for the congressman to resign, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
.@SpeakerRyan must call on @RepChrisCollins to resign. No person is above the law, not the President or his first supporter in Congress.@HouseDemocrats are fighting to clean up corruption to make Washington work #ForThePeople. https://t.co/udh3cfXDMN
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 11, 2018
“This insufficient and overdue announcement does little to drain the toxic cesspool of self-enrichment, special interest deals and corruption that has proliferated in Washington under GOP control,” Pelosi said in a statement.