The insider trading scandal that led to Wednesday’s arrest of Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York might turn out to be a party-wide controversy that could bring down more than a half-dozen other GOP lawmakers.
In an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, political commentator Jason Johnson explained how the Collins arrest comes at the worst possible time for Republicans.
“In the process of this investigation, this may connect to four, five, six, seven other members of Congress that he may have delivered this information to,” Johnson said. “It could take all of them out.”
Johnson told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki:
Individual members of Congress can get in trouble all the time. It doesn’t necessarily matter, that becomes a local issue. But Collins is not only caught for being sort of a swamp creature and using insider trading to make himself rich. He’s connected to Trump and he told several other members. So in the process of this investigation, this may connect to four, five, six, seven other members of Congress that he may have delivered this information to. It could take all of them out. And this is the sort of party-wide scandal that is going to have an impact this fall. This is just manna from heaven for the Democrats right now and Republicans need to really concerned and many of them are probably calling their broker right now.
The timing of Rep. Collins’ arrest comes at a time when Republicans are already struggling to retain their grip on Congress. In a way, the revelation is like a trifecta of awful news for the party.
First, it pushes Collins’ deep-red congressional seat toward the Democrats at a time when they have no seats to spare. Second, the New York Republican has a connection to Trump, further solidifying the narrative that the president surrounds himself with criminals. Third, it makes the GOP promise of draining the swamp an even bigger joke than it already was.
Tuesday’s results were bad enough for Republicans. The arrest of a key member of the GOP on Wednesday put gasoline on the dumpster fire – and it could get even worse in the weeks to come.
For Trump, it could give new meaning to his phrase, “Drain the swamp.”