ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Regardless of the outcome, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter believes the House Ethics Committee's decision to continue a review of her Republican colleague Chris Collins' stock dealings is significant.
"It means that something is there that needs attention," Slaughter said.
She believes the investigation was initiated in response to her complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics.
"First it goes to the OCE and they almost never recommend anything to the real ethics committee and that's what they've done," she said.
The Democrat believes Collins violated the congressional STOCK Act in crafting legislation that would benefit an Australian pharmaceutical stock in which he invested heavily. She also accuses him of inappropriately recommending the stock to other members of the House.
"I don't understand the whole thing. I can't imagine a grown person not understanding that writing a piece of legislation to help your pocketbook would be at all legal," she said.
In Rochester Thursday, Slaughter took it a step further, claiming "to the best of her knowledge" the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were also investigating Collins.
"The fact that they have moved it to the Ethics Committee itself says something but I'm pretty sure these other two agencies are looking at the same thing," she said.
Neither agency would confirm or deny an investigation and Slaughter's office later said she had no direct knowledge but had asked both agencies to do so.
Collins' office painted the walk-back as part of a pattern of dishonesty from the congresswoman.
“As is becoming typical, Congresswoman Slaughter has her facts wrong and seems somewhat confused in her own comments," spokesperson Chris Grant said. "Congressman Collins has not been contacted by either of the federal agencies she’s alleging, and has cooperated completely with the House ethics process because he has nothing to hide. It’s a shame that Congresswoman Slaughter doesn’t seem to understand her own law or the facts as they are, while continuing to make one wild accusation after another.”
Slaughter stood by her other claims though.
"It's pretty well-proven what we've said is absolutely true," she said. "He also says I've got a bunch of left-wing friends. I'm doing this by myself. I wouldn't know what left-wing friend I would want to go to anyway."