NRCC chair: Prosecutors right to indict Hunter, Collins when they did

NRCC chair: Prosecutors right to indict Hunter, Collins when they did
© Greg Nash

National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid New push to open banks to marijuana industry MORE (R-Ohio) on Friday broke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE’s suggestion that the recent indictments of two Republican congressmen were intended to hurt the GOP’s chances in the midterm elections.

Stivers said that he did not see the indictments of Reps. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsThe 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution House passes anti-hate measure amid Dem tensions Don’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall MORE (R-N.Y.) and Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 MORE (R-Calif.) as politically motivated, arguing that federal prosecutors were right to bring charges when they did.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I do not think that on those two they should have waited [to file charges],” Stivers said to reporters at a breakfast in D.C. “Those investigations have been going on for a while.”

Collins was indicted early last month on insider trading charges stemming from his position on the board of Australian drugmaker Innate Immunotherapeutics. Prosecutors allege that he used that position to provide nonpublic information about drug trial results to his son and others to help them avoid financial losses. He has pleaded not guilty.

Hunter and his wife were indicted weeks later for allegedly misusing $250,000 in campaign funds. Those charges are unrelated to Collins’s case. Both Hunter and his wife have also pleaded not guilty.

Trump in a tweet on Monday, however, suggested that prosecutors should not have brought the charges against Hunter and Collins when they did, because of the upcoming midterm elections.

He pinned the indictments squarely on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report MORE, saying that both House races are “now in doubt.”

“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department,” he tweeted. “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff......”

Since his indictment last month, Collins has said that he will no longer seek reelection in November and that he is working to have his name removed from the ballot. Hunter has insisted that he will stay in the race.

Stivers told The Hill earlier this week that the NRCC would continue to support Hunter’s reelection bid.