For the second week in a row, House Republicans have something to smile about from the world of ethics investigations.
On Tuesday, Rep. Michael Grimm of New York said that the Office of Congressional Ethics had voted unanimously to drop its preliminary inquiry of him. The dropped case, which was first reported by Politico, comes on the heels of the House Ethics Committee wrapping up a review of whether Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida violated ethics guidelines in making mistakes on his financial disclosure forms.
The dropped or resolved cases are welcome news for the GOP, as it fends off Democratic broadsides over ethical lapses. Democrats have tried to tar both lawmakers as tainted and hoped that the legal battles would drain Grimm's warchest through November.
Neither Buchanan nor Grimm are out of the woods yet. Buchanan, who is one of the GOP's top fundraisers, faces a second ethics probe into allegations of his business dealings.
And an FBI inquiry into Grimm still looms. Grimm was the subject of a detailed and unflattering piece in The New York Times in January that raised questions about raising improper cash contributions.
Still, Grimm, a former FBI agent himself, greeted the news of the OCE's dropping his case warmly.
"I welcome the unanimous recommendation of the Office of Congressional Ethics to dismiss this matter, and respect the system in place to uphold the highest ethical standards for those who serve in Congress," he said in a statement. "I continue to remain focused on working tirelessly for the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn by fighting for the issues that matter most to them, whether it's toll relief, creating local jobs, or protecting Social Security and Medicare for our seniors."
The Office of Congressional Ethics, per its policy, declined to confirm whether it had ever begun a probe into Grimm, or if the inquiry had since been dropped.
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