Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., used campaign funds to pay legal bills while he faced investigation for alleged insider trading for more than a year. A federal criminal investigation culminated in his arrest Wednesday, but before that he was under scrutiny by congressional ethics investigators.
Since July 2017, Federal Election Commission records show Collins’ campaign has been paying up to $60,000 per month in legal services to prestigious law firm BakerHostetler. The firm is representing Collins in the case.
The payments coincide with multiple inquiries into Collins’ alleged insider trading scheme. The first $45,000 payment to the firm came in July 2017, just before the OCE referred its analysis to the House Ethics Committee, the governing body that is charged with following up on the OCE’s claims.
It’s not illegal to used donor money for legal bills, but you can bet the people who gave it to him were never told where their dough was actually going.