WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that he was removing an indicted congressman from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and prodded his chamber's ethics panel to pursue "a prompt and thorough investigation" of the lawmaker.
Ryan issued his statement Wednesday after federal prosecutors charged Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., with insider securities trading. He said he was taking the actions even though the courts will have to decide whether the western New York lawmaker is guilty of the allegations.
"Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust," said Ryan, R-Wis.
The House Ethics Committee acknowledged last August that it had received a report from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which urged an investigation of Collins' actions. The Ethics Committee formally acknowledged its investigation in October.
The advocacy group Public Citizen had claimed Collins was potentially involved in insider trading of shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics, which was experimenting with a drug for treating multiple sclerosis.
A seat on the Energy and Commerce panel is highly coveted because of its wide jurisdiction. It's the only major committee on which Collins serves.