Congressman Michael Grimm To Resign

Capitol Daytime

A week after pleading guilty, and just shy of two months of being re-elected despite facing a 20 count indictment, Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm will be resigning Congress:

WASHINGTON — Michael G. Grimm, the Republican Party’s lone congressional representative in New York City, announced late Monday night that he would resign effective Jan. 5, two weeks after he pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion.

The decision to call it quits by Mr. Grimm, of Staten Island —perhaps best known for threatening to break a reporter in half and throw him off a Capitol Hill balcony — came after a conversation on Monday with the House speaker, John A. Boehner, which a person close to the speaker confirmed. In a statement released by Mr. Grimm’s office just before midnight, he said, “I do not believe that I can continue to be 100 percent effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the Office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”

Mr. Boehner appears to have done what a midterm election, constant ridicule in the news media and a guilty plea in federal court in Brooklyn could not: persuade Mr. Grimm to go away.

The decision, reported by The Daily News earlier Monday night, is an about-face for Mr. Grimm, a former F.B.I. agent. Minutes after pleading guilty last week for underreporting his employees’ wages during a previous iteration as owner of the Manhattan restaurant Healthalicious, and admitting culpability, as part of his plea deal, to all the charges in a 20-count indictment that haunted him throughout his re-election campaign, Mr. Grimm told clamoring reporters he would “absolutely not” resign.

But Mr. Grimm’s mind apparently changed after speaking with Mr. Boehner. House rules dictate that a member convicted of a crime for which a prison sentence of two years or more may be imposed should not participate in committee meetings or vote on the floor until winning re-election. The stricture could have left Mr. Grimm’s 11th district effectively disenfranchised until 2016.

Given how Boehner has handled similar situation while Speaker, regardless of party, it was clear that Grimm had no choice. Either he resign from office or he basically would become an essentially powerless Congressman and, potentially, face an Ethics Committee inquiry that would have potentially stripped him of his pension and other benefits he will be able to retain by resigning. In any case, once this becomes official attention will quickly shift to Grimm’s replacement once the resignation is announced, but I tend to agree with Jazz Shaw that the nature of this district is such that the GOP is likely to keep control of it regardless of who the nominee is or what has happened to Grimm. This seems especially true given the fact that Grimm was re-elected in November with a 13,000 vote margin despite having a 20 count indictment hanging over his head.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    All Fox has to do is have a brief mention of this with a (D) by his name, then never mention him again. Mission Accomplished.. 🙂

  2. John says:

    As a tax cheat, you’d think he’d be nominated by Obama to be his new Secretary of the Treasury.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    @John: You failed to note that he is both convicted and a Republican. He has managed to fall afoul of the usual Republican ethics standard, anything short of a felony conviction is IOKIYAR. With a felony conviction, it’s open to discussion. (See North, Oliver.)

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @gVOR08: Your theory fails to account for several other cases: John Kerry, Timothy Geithner, Al Sharpton, and the elephant in the room, Charlie Rangel.

    Other high-ranking Democrats with financial shenanigans in their closet include Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Weren’t you trying to imply yesterday that you don’t get your talking points from FOX? Whatever. In any case, I’m impressed with @John: and his ability, if that’s what you want to call it, to turn a report of a GOP being convicted of tax evasion into a slam on Obama.

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @gVOR08: Grimm’s gone, and that’s good. Grimm had to go.

    I actually found a good list of Democrats with comparable tax problems over at Hot Air, which cited Rangel, the late John Murtha, William Jefferson, and Sharpton. I recalled Kerry’s shenanigans with his yacht on my own.

    Would you care to explain how Grimm’s conduct demanded his resignation, but Rangel’s didn’t? Or why Sharpton’s many sins of the past don’t disqualify him from being such a close advisor to Obama?

  7. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Well, Grimm pled guilty to a FEDERAL investigation, while Rangel pled guilty to a HOUSE ethics investigation.

    And since a House ethics investigation doesn’t have the weight of law enforcement that a Federal investigation has, Grimm has to resign and will now go to jail while Rangel doesn’t and will not.

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Nikki: Thanks, but I wasn’t asking about the technical and legal aspects. Rangel was the head of the committee that writes the tax laws; he should be held to a higher standard.

    And as far as Rangel not being prosecuted… with Eric Holder as AG, that wasn’t going to happen.

    Jefferson’s obstinacy damn near triggered a Constitutional crisis, as the Democrats in the House backed his stonewalling the FBI.

    Grimm’s resignation should be the norm, instead of the exception.

  9. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Would you care to explain how Grimm’s conduct demanded his resignation, but Rangel’s didn’t? Or why Sharpton’s many sins of the past don’t disqualify him from being such a close advisor to Obama?

    Everything’s a pissing contest with you, innit?

    On Rangel:

    In March 2010, Rangel stepped aside as Ways and Means Chair. In November 2010, the Ethics Committee found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of violating House ethics rules, and on December 2, 2010, the full House approved a sanction of censure against Rangel.

    Missing from the Rangel story: A tax evasion conviction and jailtime.

    And Sharpton as “close advisor to Obama?” Is that even true?

    That said, I thought John’s comment was a joke. Like, the reaction was meant to be “tee hee” rather than, “Why, yes, good point, let’s run with this.” Joke’s on you, I guess.

  10. @Nikki:

    And since a House ethics investigation doesn’t have the weight of law enforcement that a Federal investigation has

    So since it’s less than a felony, it’s okay, because Rangel’s a democrat?

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: When the Washington Post can only muster “one Pinocchio” for Guiliani talking about the close relationship between Obama and Sharpton, then you know it’s solid.

    As I said before, Grimm’s biggest mistake was in pulling his crap while being a Republican. Democrats get passes on this.

    Oh, and it turns out that Jim Webb used his PAC to pay almost six figures to his wife and daughter. I’m sure it’ll get wall-to-wall coverage here… eventually…

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: No it’s not OK. It’s very much not OK and I’m not going to defend Rangel. But it’s also not a felony conviction, so any comparison to Grimm is strained. Or would you like us to imprison Rangel for a House Ethics Committee finding?

  13. James Pearce says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    So since it’s less than a felony, it’s okay, because Rangel’s a democrat?

    Yeah, that’s it…..

    I mean, it’s not because Rangel is a totally different situation or anything like that. It’s the “democrats are hypocrites” thing…..

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    When the Washington Post can only muster “one Pinocchio” for Guiliani talking about the close relationship between Obama and Sharpton, then you know it’s solid.

    Uh…no. Once the White House puts Sharpton on the payroll, then you know it’s solid.

    As I said before, Grimm’s biggest mistake was in pulling his crap while being a Republican. Democrats get passes on this.

    No, Grimm’s biggest mistake is pulling his crap while being an asshole. Republican…Democrat. They’re all gonna have enemies.

    But the asshole has no friends.

  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’ve visited the White House three times (well…on tour). Does that make me a trusted advisor?

    It’s always the same lying sh*t with you, isn’t it?

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: That depends. Did you have one-on-ones with Obama and other top White House people?

    Your “lying “sh^t” habits make you eminently qualified for the post…

  16. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Did you have one-on-ones with Obama and other top White House people?

    So wait….now everyone’s who’s had a one-on-one with the president is now an “adviser?”

    Dude……we get it. You either don’t know what “adviser” means, in which case you’re ignorant. Or you do and you’re deliberately misusing it, in which case you deserve the “lying shit” crack more than you would care to admit.

    There is, however, no scenario where you come out looking good. Hey, at least you got a giggle though, right?

  17. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Get over yourself, Agnes.

    Grimm was indicted on no less than 20 felony charges, including fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion and perjury. He pleaded guilty to a single count of felony tax fraud in a deal to avoid prosecution on the rest of the charges he was facing.

    Even better, in his signing statement he ADMITTED to having committed fraud, ADMITTED to having hired illegal immigrants and ADMITTED to having committed perjury.

    Short version? His problems go a tad beyond “financial shenanigans” …

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: He’s gone, and it’s a good thing he’s gone.

    Why can’t we get rid of corrupt Democrats as well?

    One of my pet theories: only Republicans bother to even claim to have any morals and principles, so there’s that extra “hypocrisy” angle when they get caught. Democrats, on the other hand, never pretend to not be scumbags, so it’s not as big a deal.

  19. James Pearce says:

    @HarvardLaw92: C’mon, buddy. It’s obvious that the real story here is that Charlie Rangel got away with it…..

    We cannot discuss Grimm’s crimes until we discuss Charlie Ran…..

    SQUIRREL!

  20. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Knock yourself out, but the fact remains that Rangel, slimy as I agree that he is, self reported his mistakes and voluntarily instituted correction.

    Did he do that because he was worried he was about to be caught? Probably, but the law looks a bit differently on people who voluntarily admit to their mistakes prior to being charged and take action of their own volition to correct / address them.

    Grimm not only refused to admit to any wrongdoing, he also failed to take any corrective action AND he lied about his crimes in a deposition. Find me another member of Congress screwing up that badly, and I’ll make the call to the appropriate US Attorney myself.

    But enough with the false equivalency already.

  21. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why can’t we get rid of corrupt Democrats as well?

    Well, we don’t have James Traficant to kick around anymore…..

    (And honestly, Traficant is a better comparison to Grimm anyway. You’re gonna skip over Trafficante and go straight for Rangel??? Seriously, Jenos, if you weren’t such a knee-jerk partisan wingnut, you’d be a formidable opponent instead of the “B-b-b-but Charlie Rangel!” goofball you’re trying to be today.)

  22. Neil Hudelson says:

    @James Pearce:

    You either don’t know what “adviser” means, in which case you’re ignorant. Or you do and you’re deliberately misusing it, in which case you deserve the “lying shit” crack more than you would care to admit.

    Or, to put it less eloquently, he’s either stupid or a liar. Not a great choice to have to make.

  23. Andre Kenji says:

    To be fair, Grimm is a crook and Rangel should have retired a very long time ago. That´s a fair point.

  24. James Pearce says:

    @Andre Kenji: If that’s a fair point, then we also need to talk about a WHOLE bunch of other things, too.

    It’s not a fair point. It’s a distraction. SCORE!

  25. Pinky says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    he’s either stupid or a liar

    25 meetings with the President and his staff and senior advisors. You don’t have to be stupid or a liar to say that that qualifies a person as a presidential advisor.

  26. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    “25 meetings with the President and his staff and senior advisors. You don’t have to be stupid or a liar to say that that qualifies a person as a presidential advisor.”

    You don’t?

    I’m willing to be John Boehner has sat through 25 meetings with the president. Does that make him an advisor too? What, I wonder, is the criteria here?

    I mean, you don’t have to be on the payroll or anything. You just have to be in the Rolodex apparently.

    At any rate, the question remains: What does Al Sharpton’s tax troubles have to do with Michael Grimm? I mean, what are we trying to accomplish here besides flinging poo? What’s wrong with just saying “Good riddance” and leaving it at that?

  27. @gVOR08:

    the usual Republican ethics standard, anything short of a felony conviction is IOKIYAR

    @gVOR08:

    I’m not going to defend Rangel. But it’s also not a felony conviction

    Do you not see the cognitive dissonance here?

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: IOKIYAR = It’s OK If You’re a Republican. Was my full sentence not – “No it’s not OK. It’s very much not OK and I’m not going to defend Rangel.”? Do you not see the distinction there?

  29. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’m willing to be John Boehner has sat through 25 meetings with the president. Does that make him an advisor too? What, I wonder, is the criteria here?

    That’s silly.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky: Yes it is silly. Who wants to sit thru 25 or more meetings with Boehner? Or Sharpton for that matter? I wonder how many meetings does Putin have to have with Obama before he becomes a trusted adviser?

    This whole discussion was ridiculous before it began: “MY SLIME IS BETTER THAN YOUR SLIME!”

  31. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    That’s silly.

    Why, yes. Yes it is. I guess we’ll need a new set of criteria for determining who is a presidential adviser and who is not. Number of meetings won’t do.

    I got it. Anyone who works for the White House that has “adviser” in their job title. That’ll work.

  32. Neil Hudelson says:

    @James Pearce:

    No, too simple. I think the amount of visits to the White House/meetings with the President is sufficient.

    In related news, the official White House Photographer has been named Obama’s most trusted adviser…

  33. Just Me says:

    William Jefferson is a great example of the double standard.

    He was indicted (and later sentenced to prison after conviction) while in office and the democratic leadership stood behind him and didn’t demand hi resignation. The people of Louisianna were smart enough to not reelect him or his conviction would have been while he was in office.

    Main difference here was Grimm’s district is more like Rangel’s in that they are so heavily gerrymandered that the voters will elect a corrupt politician over somebody in the opposing party.

    Glad to see a Boehner do the right thing and get a resignation than Pelosi stand behind anyone with a D by their name.

    Corruption of this magnitude should result in resignation and parties should both take the high road and demand it even if that member is also a member of their party.

  34. Pinky says:

    I don’t believe you guys are pushing this.

    Obviously, a person who shows up to take photos, or a member of a coequal branch of government, isn’t an advisor. Just as obviously, people get advice from people who don’t have Advisor in their job title. The “Kitchen Cabinet” is a longstanding American tradition. You guys can buy Limbaugh as the de facto head of the Republican Party, but you can’t make the stretch to consider Sharpton as a presidential advisor. Absurd.

    That’s absurd, but it’s just absurd. To say that anyone who does consider Sharpton to be a presidential advisor is a liar or a fool, that’s malicious.

  35. James Pearce says:

    @Just Me:

    William Jefferson is a great example of the double standard.

    I really wish we could get away from this idea that there’s a “double standard.” That Democrats are uniquely unwilling to police their own. That only the Republicans would force someone to resign after something like this.

    As our preeminent host would say, “Both sides do it.”

    There is no double standard. There is one standard: The devil looks out for his own.

  36. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    Just as obviously, people get advice from people who don’t have Advisor in their job title.

    Yes, Pinky, I was actually thinking about how George W Bush was very clear to say that he got advice from his Dad, but George HW Bush was NOT under any circumstance “an adviser.”

    At any rate, let’s take a step back. The statement that kicked this off was this:

    Or why Sharpton’s many sins of the past don’t disqualify him from being such a close advisor to Obama?

    Here’s the answer: He’s not a “close advisor” to the president, so there’s nothing to disqualify him from.

    Meanwhile there’s an effort to show that anyone who the president meets with is an adviser, not to back up the original argument, but to defend the original assertion. That’s absurd.

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    OK, forget the word “advisor” if it’s such a bugaboo for you. How about “close acquaintance and frequent visitor?”

    I’m sure Obama and Sharpton just play pinochle and swap recipes when they get together, anyway…

  38. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    How about “close acquaintance and frequent visitor?”

    Okay, Jenos. So what is it that Sharpton did that should disqualify him as a “close acquaintance and frequent visitor?”

    And more importantly, what does that have to do with Michael Grimm?

  39. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    that’s malicious.

    No, malicious is saying that liberals on OTB would have been happier if the dead cops in NYC had been white.

  40. Gavrilo says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: @Pinky:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/al-sharpton-obama-race-110249_Page2.html

    Until two NYPD cops got killed, no one seemed to mind that Al Sharpton was a close advisor to the President. Just like no one minded calling Jonathan Gruber the architect of Obamacare until he got caught saying unpleasant things. It’s a losing battle. The lefties around here will just continue to move the goalposts.

  41. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: Heh. Months of OTB’ers saying that conservatives were happy that a black man was killed. That’s the funny thing. You guys think that it’s ok to slam people based on what you perceive as racism, but you get really upset when someone responds in kind. I’ll tell you this: based on the things I’ve seen on this site, I genuinely believe that some of you guys would have felt satisfied if two white NYPD offices had been shot. Maybe you want to rethink your positions and statements, if you’re giving that impression.

  42. James Pearce says:

    @Gavrilo:

    It’s a losing battle. The lefties around here will just continue to move the goalposts.

    Nah, it’s a losing battle because the righties would rather talk about Al Sharpton than Michael Grimm.

    Seriously, guys…..please, do us all a favor. Rid Sharpton from our national discourse as Michael Grimm removed himself. If you can.

    With a game this weak, I have my doubts….

  43. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce: I wouldn’t want to talk about either of them. And if Sharpton wants to rid himself from our national discourse, I don’t think a lot of conservatives would complain. As for sticking on-topic, well, the first comment on this thread (from the left) cast this story into a typical left/right thing, and you ran with the “adviser” thing, and Anjin-san just brought up an additional tangent. There’s no one who can hold his head high on this thread.

  44. Just Me says:

    The thing is-not a single rightie on this site has said he should stay I noffice or that what he did was right. The rightie leadership in the house didn’t say he should stay in office (they rightfully pressured him to resign and he did).

    So this thread was always going to degenerate into a both sides have corrupt memebers shut one side still has a congressman who evaded his taxes and whose party defended him and the other side asked theirs to step down.

    I am still appalled that Pelosi defended Jefferson.

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    based on the things I’ve seen on this site, I genuinely believe that some of you guys would have felt satisfied if two white NYPD offices had been shot.

    We have already established that what you “genuinely believe” is in error. If you continue to “genuinely believe” it, that’s your problem.

    Why should anyone else rethink their positions based on your error? Shouldn’t you be doing that?

  46. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    based on the things I’ve seen on this site, I genuinely believe that some of you guys would have felt satisfied if two white NYPD offices had been shot.

    Yet you are unable to produce a single comment that would support this belief. Not a single one.

    And you wonder why people think you are working from the Fox News playbook.

  47. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky: Well, it’s a slow news week, a slow work week, and some of us still have to show up. I will grant this issue/thread is of no real importance.

    However….notice how Gavrilo was still using the “close advisor” thing as if it was a given. As if it hadn’t already been challenged and demolished.

    This has been a pattern on the right for far too long. It’s almost instinctual at this point. We saw it with WMD in Iraq, Obama’s birth certificate, Benghazi and now “Sharpton as adviser.” It makes it difficult to have a meaningful debate.

  48. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce: When someone accuses me of something nasty, my first reaction is to want to punch him in the throat. My second reaction is to consider if it’s a legitimate criticism. My third is to consider why he may think it’s a legitimate criticism. It’s those second and third impulses that help us grow. So for what it’s worth, I’ve read a lot of comments on this site and I think a lot of the people on the left and on the right are racists. React to it as you see fit.

    @James Pearce: “Challenged and demolished”? Do you really think that’s what’s happened?

  49. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    Keep digging dude. Jenos and bithead need company. Your peers.

  50. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: Bill Buckley once made a comment about accusations that make you question your sanity, and upon finding it intact, question the sanity of those who made the accusation. That can also be part of the process I described. In other words, no, I’m not stunned that you don’t see eye-to-eye with me, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

  51. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    You are quite correct, we don’t see eye to eye. IMO, if you are going to make the kind of vile accusations you made against much of the OTB commentariat a few days ago, you should be prepared to back them up, not vanish when you are called on your BS. Pretty much everyone on OTB was disgusted with you and your comments. Should we all question our sanity, and turn to you – apparently the sighted man in the land of the blind – for guidance? I think not.

    As for Buckley, I subscribed to National Review for many years back in the days of my callow youth when I was a self-identified conservative. I still have first editions of his Blackford Oakes novels that I have held onto for all these years. So I’m afraid your attempt to school me is kind of a dud.

  52. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    I think a lot of the people on the left and on the right are racists.

    Ah, both sides do it. The last refuge of the incompetent debater.

  53. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: Actually, that was just me being polite. I think most of the righties on this site are trolls, but the lefties run pretty strongly racist.

  54. wr says:

    @Pinky: So what does “racist” mean to you? Not properly acknowledging the inherent superiority of whites over minorities? Or do you have a more nuanced view — something like “all lefties want to see white people’s blood running in the sewers?”

    Dude, what happened to you this Christmas? You used to be a recognizable human being. I disliked a lot of your opinions and found you frequently intellectually dishonest, but I never would have thought of you as a troll.

    But now? Is this your new hobby?

  55. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    What definition of racist are you using to come to that conclusion?