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Indictment Caucus: Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins Win Re-Election

Republicans facing federal charges win over their voters

House Republicans propose to strip indicted colleagues of committee and leadership roles. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call).
House Republicans propose to strip indicted colleagues of committee and leadership roles. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call).

Two House Republicans under federal indictments are heading back to Congress. Voters in California and New York are sending Reps. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins back to Capitol Hill even as they face federal charges.

Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted by a federal grand jury in late August for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission. The couple is facing 60 federal charges.

A federal judge in San Diego pushed the start of the Hunter trial until after the midterm contest by setting a status conference for Dec. 3. U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan has not yet set a trial date.

Hunter defeated Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar for California’s 50th congressional district seat.

Collins, who faces insider trading charges stemming from his investment in an Australian biotech company, will get his day in court on Feb. 3, 2020.

The indictment is tied to securities of an Australian biotechnology company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, where Collins has served on the board of directors. Collins gained personal benefit and provided nonpublic information to his son Cameron Collins, who sold nearly $1.4 million of Innate Immunotherapeutics shares, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

With more than 99 percent of the vote in, CNN projects that Collins has defeated Nate McMurray to win New York’s 27th District seat.

The House Ethics Committee voted in September to impanel investigative subcommittees to examine Hunter and Collins. But neither panel plans to conduct work on the investigation at this time, deferring to the Justice Department for now. The DOJ, which brought forth the charges and is leading prosecution efforts against both lawmakers, has asked the Ethics Committee to defer action on both matters, and it has agreed.

New Jersey Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez, who faced indictment in 2015, was also re-elected on Tuesday. He faced bribery and fraud charges that stemmed from $660,000 in campaign contributions that helped Menendez get re-elected in 2012. He was cleared of the charges early this year after the Department of Justice asked a federal court to dismiss the 2015 indictment.

Watch: Now That That’s Over (Mostly) Roll Call Looks Ahead to 2020

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