Reasons Behind Collins' 2020 Trial Date

Delay leaves time for negotiations

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(WBEN) - The trial date in Congressman Chris Collins' insider trading case, set by a judge for February of 2020, has raised some eyebrows for how long the wait will be.

Why is the date so far away?

"Custody cases go first, said Attorney Paul Cambria. "So people who are in jail awaiting trial, their cases would be bumped up ahead of people who are out on bail like Chris Collins."

Collins did not appear in court Thursday, but he will be on the ballot in November. Cambria said that it wouldn't surprise him if Collins, should he win re-election, filed a motion in 2020 to delay the trial longer because it is an election year.

Collins is accused of tipping off his son about negative results in a clinical trial for a drug. In the four days before the negative drug news was announced, Collins' family and others sold more than 1.78 million shares, avoiding losses of about $768,000.

The 2020 date leaves a lot of time for negotiations.

"His opponent is claiming that he's only running for Congress to have a bargaining chip, so we'll see if that plays out," said Cambria. "It's possible. In the past, people have resigned their positions as part of a plea bargain or to get a better plea bargain." 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Hartman said prosecutors were worried that Collins will try to delay the 2020 trial date, saying it's an election year.

Defense attorney Jonathan New said lawyers for Collins plan to challenge whether some evidence should be permitted to be seen by jurors.

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