Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) maintains he’s innocent of insider trading charges and lying to the FBI, claiming in a new interview that it was the “shock of all shocks” when two FBI agents showed up at his door at 6 a.m. on April 25.
“That was the shock of all shocks, to have, turns out, two agents at your door at 6 a.m. saying they just want to talk,” he said during an interview with a local TV news station in Buffalo, New York. “It turns out, they don’t read you your rights, they don’t tell you you can have an attorney, they don’t tell you why they’re there, it’s just, ‘oh, we’d like to talk.'”
Collins said he answered the door in a “bathrobe” and “bare feet” and invited them in to speak because “you know you’re innocent.”
“Hell, I chatted with them for 45 minutes or so, and they wanted to know about my involvement,” he said. “I shared everything from A to Z and then at the end of it all, they said, ‘oh by the way, we have a subpoena for you.'”
Collins, notably, had several quintessential Trumpian decor items on full display throughout the interview: At least three Make America Great Again hats and a coffee mug emblazoned with a CNN logo that said “FNN” instead. A quick google search reveals “FNN” stands for Fake News Network, a wisecrack Trump is bound to enjoy.
Collins was the first House Republican to endorse Trump during the 2016 election and many have speculated he may be gunning for a presidential pardon if he’s convicted.
On Aug. 8, Collins was arrested and indicted on federal insider trading charges related to an Australian biotechnology company called Innate Immunotherapeutics, where Collins served as a board member. Prosecutors allege that Collins warned several members of his family about the failed clinical trial of a new drug that the company was testing. Those family members allegedly sold $1.78 million in Innate shares upon hearing the news.
Collins’ son Cameron and his son’s fiancee’s father, Stephen Zarsky, were also listed as defendants.
The congressman announced days after his indictment that he would suspend his reelection campaign until he was able to clear his “good name” of any wrongdoing.