Congressman Chris Collins: The Bitch Set Me Up!

Here's a novel strategy. When you get caught dead to rights insider trading and using your official position to enrich yourself (ALLEGEDLY), find a woman to blame!

She’s on a witch-hunt, she’s a despicable human being ... You don’t go after another member with fabricated allegations like she did!

That's the spirit, Congressman Chris Collins! The Office of Congressional Ethics just produced emails showing that you gave inside information to investors in your pet biotech project and tipped them off about upcoming sales, but this is obviously Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's fault. The bitch set you up!

It all started back in 2005, when Chris Collins was just a guy who owned a medical supply company in Buffalo. One day he met a transplant doctor named Frank Gelder who had invented a revolutionary new immunotherapy treatment, which he was using on himself -- always a good sign! And the two of them decided that this treatment was going to cure HIV and every other immune disease, and maybe cancer, too! But first they would cure multiple sclerosis, just as proof of concept. So Gelder set up a clinical trial in New Zealand, and Collins hit up his buddies in New York for money to finance the new venture, which they named Innate Immunotherapeutics.

Collins was a true believer. He bought shares for his kids, convinced his longtime employees to buy in, and eventually invested $6 million of his own money for an 18 percent stake in the company. So Gelder spent the next decade trying to make their drug work, while Collins found rich guys who had $25,000 or $100,000 to play with on a longshot Australian biotech startup. Things went even better after Collins got elected to the House of Representatives in 2013 and met a bunch of cool new bros with extra cash to invest. Three Congressmen including future (former) HHS Secretary Tom Price got in on Collins's awesome startup action.

Periodically Collins would send a blast email to his investors saying everything was going GREAT in New Zealand and did they maybe want to buy more stock. Sometimes he'd give them an update on those clinical trials, just to let them know their money was safe. Sadly, he doesn't have any of those emails today, since he takes a Marie Kondo approach to document retention.

Sure, I delete my emails every day. In fact, generally three times a day. I delete all our texts, three times a day. I just always – I have a very uncluttered life and something like this would be absolutely no reason for me to hang onto it. (Exhibit 1)

Ummmmm .... okay.

Luckily the Office of Congressional Ethics was able to retrieve some of those emails from the various recipients. And they have questions. Such as, what the fuck were you thinking giving your buddies specific, non-public information about clinical trials for a drug company that was traded on the Australian stock exchange? And what kind of idiot sends a blast email discussing potential sale to a big pharma company and pricing of the upcoming IPO?

Care to comment, Congressman?

You know it would’ve been deleted on or about 9am on July 30th. I delete all my emails. I don’t keep myself cluttered. I would’ve never kept copies of this and so … It’s my simplified life.

Oh, right. Don't you just hate it when your phone gets so stuffed with emails that it doesn't fit in your pants pocket? Good thing you hard-deleted from the server, too. (Ed -- presumably!) Gotta commit to the lifestyle!

Some people are so sloppy with their emails. Like that congressional liaison lady from the NIH. She still has the email chain from your staffer asking to set up a meeting with the NIH expert on multiple sclerosis, which just so happens to be what Innate Immunotherapeutics was working on.

Thanks so much for putting all this together. Looks great. Just had one quick thing I wanted to tell you over the phone. Could you give me a call at the office when you have a moment? (Exhibit 15)

She remembers very clearly that your staffer told her over the phone that you were connected to Innate. So the MS expert at NIH was kind of surprised that you asked her to meet with a representative from a company that you had invested in.

[I]t definitely felt strange to me because here you cannot be associated in any capacity. I as a person cannot have any stock or anything in any kind of pharmaceutical company, right, so it was surprising to me that he had this relationship. (Exhibit 16)

But in the spirit of collegiality, she met with the Innate rep, and they discussed ways to structure the company's drug trial to make it acceptable to the FDA. And she really appreciated that little Congressional seal doodad you gave her on your visit to the NIH "as a private citizen."

The Office of Congressional Ethics thinks "there is a substantial reason to believe" that you used your Congressional office to help a company in which you held a financial stake and engaged in insider trading. But obviously this just a "personal vendetta" by Louise Slaughter who narced you out "in an effort to gain political advantage and get even with Rep. Collins for his early support of President Donald Trump."

Luckily the Office of Congressional Ethics isn't a real court, right? That's why you told all your buddies that they didn't have to cooperate with the investigation. Via Politico,

They have no authority. They cannot subpoena. You may say they’re not political but I would disagree with that. They do not follow the even legal procedures.

But the matter has now been referred to the House Ethics Committee, which does have subpoena power. So you have to be asking yourself, Congressman, how much negative publicity will it take to force your Republican colleagues to do a real investigation? And if those nutless wonders fall down on the job, who will get to you first, the SEC or New York AG Eric Schneiderman?


Well, it looks like you're going to have some serious legal bills. Too bad you're out the $6 million since your miracle drug failed and Innate went belly up in June. We'd almost feel sorry for you, dude, if you weren't such a self-righteous DICK.

Oh, hey, Chris! Remember that time you went on CNN and crapped all over Hillary Clinton because she had, "destroyed evidence, destroyed e-mails, even after receiving subpoenas"?


[OCE Referral / / OCE Exhibits 1 / OCE Exhibits 2 / OCE Exhibits 3 / Politico / Fox / WaPo / CNN / Letter from Collins' lawyer to House Ethics Committee]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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