GOP Rep. Chris Collins, one of President Donald Trump’s earliest backers in Congress, suspended his campaign on Saturday, in the wake of insider trading allegations that resulted in his dramatic arrest this week.
Only days ago, the congressman — who’s ensnared in a case involving the sale of stock on information that was not made public — was vowing to run for reelection, calling the charges “meritless.”
Yet in a statement on Saturday, the embattled New York Republican who represents the state’s 27th Congressional district said that “after extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, 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.”
Collins’ district, which is in the Western part of New York, is considered heavily Republican. Yet his travails come at a time when Democrats are on the offensive ahead of the midterm elections, and generic polls show them widely favored to recapture the House of Representatives at the very least.
“Democrats are laser focused on taking back the House, electing Nancy Pelosi Speaker and then launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump,” Collins’ statement read.
“They would like nothing more than to elect an ‘Impeach Trump’ Democrat in this District, which is something that neither our country or my party can afford,” he added.
Collins, a wealthy businessman, was first elected to to the House of Representatives in 2012. He immediately became one of the 10 richest lawmakers, with an average net worth of nearly $60 million, according to OpenSecrets.
However, his business acumen has landed him in hot water, with federal authorities nabbing him on insider trading charges on Wednesday. The congressman stands accused of selling shares of an Australian biotechnology company.
Collins is accused of funneling nonpublic information about a failed drug trial to his son before the company announced it publicly. Collins’ son Cameron was also charged in the indictment, and is accused of dumping more than a million shares of the company’s stock ahead of a steep plunge in its price.
–CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this article.