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Collins calls indictment the 'shock of all shocks'
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who has been indicted on accusations of insider trading, said it was the "shock of all shocks" when he learned he was under criminal investigation.
Collins sat down with local news station WIVB 4 in Buffalo for the first time since he was arrested last month on charges related to his work with an Australian pharmaceutical company called Innate Immunotherapeutics.
Collins is one of the company's largest shareholders and sat on the board of directors.
In an interview that aired Monday, Collins detailed how agents came to talk with him at 6 a.m. one April morning.
"I'm in a bathrobe and bare feet and just got out of bed and I chatted with them for 45 minutes or so," Collins said. "They wanted to know about my involvement, and I shared everything from A to Z. And then at the end of it all, they said, 'oh by the way, we have a subpoena for you.'"
Prosecutors allege that Collins gave nonpublic information about drug trial tests to his son to help him "make timely trades in Innate Stock and tip others."
Collins's son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins's fiancée, are also charged in the probe.
The three-term congressman confirmed recent reports that he turned down a plea deal from federal prosecutors.
"Well, again, I can't talk about the case. That was disclosed," Collins said during the interview. "I don't even want to get into that. But I am innocent and I'm going to fight this right to the end in court."
Collins was set to oppose Democrat Nat McMurray in the November midterm elections, but he suspended his reelection campaign after his arrest.
"I can tell you my intention was to stay here for another four or five terms, to work my way up in the committee assignments ... And so, disappointing, where I am," Collins said. "Today was not supposed to be the last chapter in my book of life."
He has pleaded not guilty to his charges.