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 StiversRep. Steve King pushes GOP to reinstate his committee assignments GOP lawmakers offer several locations for Trump address House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE (R-Ohio) on Friday broke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 CollinsFighting AIDS domestically and globally means pushing more evidence-based services House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 The Memo: Pelosi ups ante in Trump showdown MORE (R-N.Y.) and Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterHouse Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 What a year it’s been: A month-by-month look back at 2018's biggest stories Bipartisan lawmakers unveil bill to tighten some campaign rules 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 SessionsMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war 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.