Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., the congressman who was once the first to stand up and endorse then-candidate Trump during the 2016 election, was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison on Friday.
Having pleaded guilty to charges related to securities fraud conspiracy and making false statements, and resigning from his post last year, Collins is just the latest in a series of close allies and associates of President Trump to face the stain of a criminal record. In all, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned since the days when the first-time candidate promised that he would only hire “the best people.”
The count includes senior members of Trump’s campaign staff, including former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates – both snared on financial misdeeds in special counsel Robert Mueller investigation. Trump’s first national security adviser – Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn – pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI – though he has recently moved to retract his plea. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is under criminal investigation for his business relationship with two men arrested in an alleged campaign finance scheme, according to sources. Both Giuliani associates have pleaded not guilty.