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Rep. Chris Collins. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Federal prosecutors recommended Monday that former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) be sentenced to up to 57 months in prison for pleading guilty to insider trading last year.

Why it matters: Collins was the first congressman to endorse President Trump in 2016 and resigned in September after changing his not-guilty plea. Prosecutors argue that he should not receive leniency because he continued to serve in Congress while hiding his crimes.

Context: In August 2018, Collins was arrested in connection with an alleged insider trading scheme involving Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian drug company whose board he sat on for years.

  • Prosecutors allege that Collins received a tip about about a failed clinical trial involving the company's only product.
  • He then allegedly called his son Cameron, who sold off shares of Innate stock the next day.

What they're saying:

"In committing insider trading and later lying to federal agents to cover it up, and in continuing to actively serve in the House of Representatives during that time period, Collins came to embody the cynical idea that those in power who make the laws are not required to follow them. This surely was not lost on him, but it did not cause him to hesitate in making the choice to commit multiple crimes while holding one of the most visible and prestigious jobs in the United States."

Read the full memo.

Go deeper: GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter submits letter of resignation after guilty plea

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.