Federal prosecutors have claimed that their latest indictment against Representative Chris Collins has eliminated one of his legal defenses.
The judge in the case, who is eager to avoid any further delays before the trial next year, is trying to ensure that Collins agrees.
Earlier this week, the District Judge of the United States, Vernon S. Broderick had a telephone meeting with attorneys of both sides and requested the defense for weighing in on whether the ‘speech and debate’’ clause of Collins’ defense was still credible.
Just like the old indictment, the new one charges Collins; Cameron Collins, his son; and also Stephen Zarsky, his prospective father-in-law for participating in an insider stock trading plan that involved Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company.
All of the three men have been charged with fraud, conspiracy as well as lying to the federal authorities. Collins along with his other defendants has claimed not guilty.
The comments of the judge suggest that, if possible, he wishes to avoid any delay in the 3rd February trial of Collin.
Collins believed that he was protected by the ‘speech and debate’ clause and it was basically this concern which earlier this week, prompted the government for filing a superseding indictment which eliminated allegations and the supporting evidence which made Collins consider himself protected by the Constitution.
From the beginning, the Clarence Republican had made it clear that he was intending to rely on this clause to be his defense, a tactic which could have lead to delaying of the hearings as well as an appeal and ultimately delaying the trial.
In filing this latest grand jury indictment, prosecutors have been hoping to eliminate the part of the legal defense of Collins making it difficult for him in delaying the trial.