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 StiversThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill House bill seeks to bolster security for synagogues, mosques in wake of attacks Congress can open financial institutions to legal cannabis industry with SAFE Banking Act MORE (R-Ohio) on Friday broke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 CollinsHouse ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers The Hill's Morning Report - Barr stiff-arms House following Senate grilling Trump ally in House calls for doubling gas tax to pay for infrastructure MORE (R-N.Y.) and Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterHouse ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter accused of violating 'parole' after pretending to cross US-Mexico border Challenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch MORE (R-Calif.) as politically motivated, arguing that federal prosecutors were right to bring charges when they did.

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“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 SessionsMSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump Appeals court rules Trump end of DACA was unlawful 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.