New York Congressman Expects To Be Indicted

You may remember Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who represents a district that principally consists of Staten Island along with parts of Brooklyn, as the Congressman who threatened a reporter while a camera was running when he was unexpectedly asked about an ongoing campaign finance investigation. Well, yesterday, Grimm’s lawyer said that he expects that Federal Prosecutors will be indicting his client in the near future:

Rep. Michael Grimm is expected to be indicted by the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, according to the New York Republican’s lawyer.

Grimm has been under investigation by federal authorities for alleged campaign finance violations. The federal charges against Grimm, set to be unveiled by next week, are expected to include mail and wire fraud, said a source familiar with the case.

The New York Times reported that the charges may be connected to a restaurant that Grimm owned after he left the FBI in 2006, although Grimm’s attorneys could not confirm that at press time.

The timing of the expected Grimm indictment also couldn’t be worse for Republicans. The filing deadline for that race has closed, meaning GOP leadership could be stuck with him on the ballot come Election Day.

Grimm’s attorney, William McGinley of the law firm Patton Boggs, denounced the Justice Department’s looming criminal action against Grimm as prosecutorial overreach.

“After more than two years of investigation plagued by malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has disclosed its intent to file criminal charges against Congressman Grimm,” McGinley said in a statement. “We are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised. From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth. Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing.”

McGinley added: “When the dust settles, he will be vindicated. Until then, he will continue to serve his constituents with the same dedication and tenacity that has characterized his lifetime of public service as a Member of Congress, Marine Corps combat veteran, and decorated FBI Special Agent.”

Assuming the rumors are true, Grimm is, of course, innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Politically speaking, though, there are few things worse than a pending Federal indictment in an election year. Even if Grimm survives the legal claims, he may not survive politically.

Update: Jazz Shaw has more on this story

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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 far too young in July 2021.