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The Other Side: Letters to judge asking for no mercy for Chris Collins

Sentencing judge receives letters asking that he show no leniency to former Congressman who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, lying to the FBI.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Numerous friends, family members, fellow congress members, and business associates of Chris Collins have written letters to Federal Judge Vernon Broderick asking for leniency at the sentencing of the former  Western New York Congressman.

Collins, who will appear before Judge Broderick on Friday, January 17, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making a false statement to the FBI,

However, just as many, if not more, individuals have written letters to the judge asking that he show no mercy to Collins, who they believe deceived the constituents of NY's 27th district when he continued to proclaim his innocence after being indicted in August of 2018, before finally admitting his guilt in October of 2019.

They include Nate McMurray who was defeated by Collins in the 2018 election despite the criminal charges against Collins.

In his letter, McMurray wrote: "I stand with many who are angered by Mr. Collins' actions but I find some discomfort celebrating anyone's demise, even his. However, with his re-election predicated on an admittedly false claim of innocence I urge that in sentencing you recognize this fraud on the taxpayers of this nation and the people of New York's 27th Congressional District."

While letters supporting Collins were peppered with personal anecdotes of otherwise good character and were written by people who knew him, many of the letters submitted to the Judge advocating that no mercy be shown to him appear to come from people who had no personal ties to Collins.

The Appearance of Organization

Many letter writers express similar sentiments in their reasoning as to why Collins should be held fully accountable for his crimes,  and in several cases use nearly identical sentences in their calls for retribution.

As well, several letters, including McMurray's, call for the judge to require Collins to "repay his salary from the date of his indictment until his resignation and forfeit his taxpayer funded pension."

Others, again using the same word structure, call for Collins to be made to pay the cost of holding the special election needed to select a new congressional representative for NY-27.

In addition, several of the letters, handwritten on  postcards, are in fact identical in their wording, indicating an organized effort to impart to the judge the sentiment that Collins should be granted no leniency.

A Conservative Voice Chimes In 

But not all of the letters urging the judge to show no mercy are coming from those of a different political persuasion than Collins.

"Lock him up and throw away the key," wrote conservative radio talk show host and columnist Bob Lonsberry, who lives in the 27th District formerly represented by Collins, and who also made note that Collins ran for re-election while under indictment by assuring voters he was innocent and would be acquitted.

"Both those assertions were lies and Chris Collins knew it. His conduct throughout has been egregious. His punishment must be significant. He made the laws but didn't obey them. And that is intolerable."

RELATED: Prior to sentencing, letters of support for ex- Rep. Chris Collins

RELATED: Former Congressman Chris Collins settles insider trading charges with SEC

RELATED: NYS GOP chair wants a special election soon for NY-27

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