GOP lawmaker calls for ethics rules changes after Collins charged with insider trading

GOP lawmaker calls for ethics rules changes after Collins charged with insider trading
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedLobbying World Gun debate to shape 2020 races Conservatives push Trump tariff relief over payroll tax cuts MORE (R-N.Y.) on Thursday said Congress should reform its ethics code to avoid conflicts of interest.

During an appearance on CNN, Reed suggested that a revamped code could prohibit members from sitting on the boards of publicly traded companies while serving in Congress.

"Obviously, any type of conflict of interest, we need to do a better job in Congress to send the message to the people that we're making sure that the integrity of the House is in place and that no one is above the law," Reed said. 

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Reed's remarks come one day after Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsNate McMurray launches second challenge against GOP Rep. Chris Collins Michael Caputo eyes congressional bid House ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers MORE (R-N.Y.) was charged with insider trading. Collins, who represents parts of western New York, turned himself in to the FBI early Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege that, while serving on the board of the Australia-based pharmaceutical company Innate Immunotherapeutics, Collins gave nonpublic information about drug trial results to his son to help him "make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others." 

Outgoing Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea MORE (R-Wis.) removed Collins from his position on the Energy and Commerce Committee after his arrest.

Multiple Republican lawmakers told The Hill last year that Collins had urged other members of Congress to invest in the pharmaceutical company.

Collins has been under investigation by congressional officials for his ties to Innate since last year. In the fall, a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics found there was “substantial reason” to believe he violated federal law by sharing inside information with the company's investors.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceTom Price: The fiscal crisis at hand The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks MORE bought Innate stock when he was a Georgia congressman, as did House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayRepublicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback Texas faces turbulent political moment MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Markwayne MullinMarkwayne MullinOvernight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House GOP rolls out energy proposal to counter Democrats offshore drilling ban Bottom Line MORE (R-Okla.) and Rep. Billy LongWilliam (Billy) H. LongT-Mobile merger poses more questions than answers GOP pushes back on net neutrality bill at testy hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal MORE (R-Mo.).

Prosecutors also charged Collins’ son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins's fiancée.