According to documents obtained by NM Politics with John Block, it has been revealed that New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District candidate Claire Chase’s campaign has hired Christopher M. Grant of “Big Dog Strategies.” Grant was recently accused of buying and selling stock in-tandem with family and associates of disgraced former Rep. ChrisCollins (R-NY), who plead guilty of insider trading.
Rep. Collins sat on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics and owned 16.8% of the company’s stock. According to Collins’ criminal indictment, he learned at a congressional picnic an important test relating to the company had failed. He frantically contacted his son to sell his shares, who tipped off others.
Christopher Grant, who owned 23,000 shares of the Innate Immunotherapeutics stock, sold all of his shares the same day as Rep. Collins’ son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, Collins’ prospective father-in-law. By selling the stock, Grant avoided losses of approximately $11,200, according to affidavits from FBI Agent Tina M. Taylor.
On the morning that Grant sold his shares, he reportedly had a 17-minute cell phone call with Michael Hook, Rep. Chris Collins’ senior aide at the time. “Shortly thereafter, at approximately 8:51 a.m. EDT, Grant sold substantially all of his holdings in Innate,” according to Taylor.
Now, Grant is a consultant on Claire Chase’s campaign for Congress, with his consulting firm’s logo affixed to fundraising graphics, including a biography of the candidate. Grant seems to be behind multiple posts on Chase’s social media pages, including on Twitter, where his personal account (@sanguangop), has retweeted multiple Chase tweets..
It appears his first retweet of Chase’s account was a campaign video on November 1, 2019, near the time Grant joined as a consultant.
This development comes months after tweets uncovered by Breitbart show Chase lambasting then-candidate for president, Donald Trump as “an a**hole unworthy of the office.” Since announcing her run for Congress, Chase has attempted to walk the comments back, claiming she supported the President in the general election. However, this statement is contradicted in a November 6, 2016 post by Chase, in which she wrote, “I didn’t support Trump.” Another earlier post shows her pledging support to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, despite her claiming she voted for Trump in 2016.
Chase’s campaign could not be reached for comment, despite being given nearly 24 hours to provide a statement.