He promised to run government like a business and basked in his nouveau riche success. He rode a wave of populism that boosted his fame within the Republican party. Then he squandered it all when he broke the law on the White House lawn.
About a week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, the end came for one of his most ardent followers in Congress, New York’s Rep. Chris Collins. Though the outcome of the president’s own predicament is likely months from a resolution, the rise and fall of Collins, a boastful, head-butting, self-proclaimed political outsider with a knack for making enemies, offers, in some respects, a version of the Trump saga in miniature.
Collins, 69, leveraged his notoriety as the first Republican member of Congress to endorse Trump to hold onto his deep-red district in Western New York despite a federal indictment.
Then, on Monday, after more than a year of insisting on his innocence, he resigned and pleaded guilty to two felony insider trading charges, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to the FBI. His sentencing is scheduled for January and he faces up to five years in federal prison for each count.