LONSBERRY: A Letter To Chris Collins' Judge

To the Hon. Vernon S. Broderick

United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York

In re. Christopher Collins

Your Honor,

Thank you for your service to our laws and Constitution.

Lock him up and throw away the key.

Disgraced former congressman Chris Collins has engaged in felonious conduct that defrauded American investors, violated the integrity of our investment markets, and deceived officers of the federal government. He has also lied to his former constituents and denied them effective representation. He has wronged the law and the people whose laws they are.

As the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York said, he made the laws, but he didn’t obey them.

And that is intolerable.

And must be punished.

As a constituent and media commentator of some thirty years standing, I would encourage you to sentence Collins to the maximum allowable by law. Not as an act of vengeance, but as an act of justice. As a due punishment for a man who not only broke the law, but betrayed the public trust.

As a further compounding factor of his venality, he committed a federal felony on the grounds of the White House. While at a reception for members of Congress hosted by the president of the United States, Chris Collins passed illegal insider information in a phone conversation with his son. In that setting, at a place sacred to our Republic, he chose greed over duty and obedience to law.

Jesus drove the money changers from the temple, Christians believe, to purge and purify it, to restore its sacred nature and purpose. You stand at the gate of the temple of government, with the knotted cord of justice in your hand, and while you cannot purge it completely, you can drive the memory and legacy of this money changer from its halls.

You can punish him, and you can protect us – by using your power to send the clear message that those entrusted by the people must obey the law of the people. This is not a normal crime because this is not a normal criminal, this is a man blessed not only with prosperity, but with power.

Power he maintained by dishonesty.

Chris Collins, already under indictment, campaigned for re-election by assuring voters that he was innocent and would be acquitted. Both those assertions were lies, and Chris Collins knew it. Shortly after he was charged, Collins was advised by another member of the House of Representatives – a person knowledgeable about federal criminal law and prosecution – that he was undeniably guilty, would be convicted, and would be well advised to seek the best deal he could get.

It is quite likely Chris Collins received competent legal counsel to that same end.

And yet he materially misstated the circumstances of his guilt and likely legal status. That was an act of electoral fraud, conceived to benefit him at the expense of others – his constituents.

Quite obviously, any plea agreement would likely include his resignation from office. To resign from office, he would still need to be in office. And so he ran for re-election, not to serve the residents of the 27th District of New York, but to advance his own legal interests.

He took a constitutional office – representative – and turned it exclusively to his own benefit, and to the hurt of the people who are to be served by that office.

His conduct throughout has been egregious. His punishment must be significant.

And it must be a warning shot across the bow of any other officeholder who would put greed and criminality ahead of duty and the people. Punish this one, and thereby scare the others.

You have it in your power, sir, to do much good. It is not this criminal we must rehabilitate, it is the integrity of our most fundamental institutions. You can take a step in that direction by sending a message with your sentence.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

With kindest regards,

Bob Lonsberry

NewsRadio WHAM 1180 · Rochester's News, Weather & Traffic Station

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