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Rep. Chris Collins resigns from Congress

Posted at 2:00 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 23:26:32-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Congressman Chris Collins has resigned his seat representing the 27th Congressional District, one day before he is expected to plead guilty in federal court to insider trading charges.

According to court documents, Collins is scheduled for a "change of plea hearing" Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan. He is expected to appear before Judge Vernon S. Broderick. Broderick's chambers told 7 Eyewitness News Collins will change his plea from not guilty to guilty.

A representative from Rep. Nancy Pelosi's office tells 7 Eyewitness News, "We are in receipt of a letter of resignation. It will be laid down on the House Floor tomorrow during pro forma. Resignation will be effective at that time."

According to the Associated Press, Governor Andrews Cuomo can set a special election to fill the seat.

A complaint filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accuses Cameron Collins of selling large amounts of stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics, Ltd. before relevant information about a clinical trial was made public. Chris Collins is accused of giving his son the information.

It's unclear why the Congressman is changing his defense.

"The Congressman, nor his office, will comment on this ongoing legal matter," said Collins spokesperson Jennifer Brown.

Earlier this month, Collins expressed confidence he would be exonerated of charges of insider trading.

Collins was first elected to Congress in November 2012. He won re-election in November 2016 and again last November, despite facing federal charges in 2018.