Grimm’s Lawyer Anticipates Criminal Charges Against N.Y. Congressman

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 02: U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) speaks to the media prior to a meeting regarding the Sandy aid bill with Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) January 2, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House Republican leadership was criticized for not acting on the Senate passed legislation for Hurricane Sandy disaster aid. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
National Journal
Billy House
April 25, 2014, 2:01 p.m.

A law­yer for Rep. Mi­chael Grimm said Fri­day he ex­pects fed­er­al pro­sec­utors to soon file crim­in­al charges against the Staten Is­land Re­pub­lic­an, but he called the ef­fort a “polit­ic­ally driv­en ven­detta” rather than a search for truth.

“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,” at­tor­ney Wil­li­am Mc­Gin­ley said in a state­ment.

Grimm, a former FBI agent who has en­joyed the back­ing of the tea party, has been the fo­cus of a fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tion for more than two years in­to some of his busi­ness deal­ings and fun­drais­ing activ­it­ies tied to his first cam­paign for the House in 2010.

Mc­Gin­ley, con­tac­ted by tele­phone, de­clined to say how soon he ex­pec­ted the charges will be filed. But in his state­ment, he said Grimm as­serts his in­no­cence of any wrong­do­ing.

“We are dis­ap­poin­ted by the gov­ern­ment’s de­cision, but hardly sur­prised,” Mc­Gin­ley said in the state­ment.

A House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee re­view launched in June 2012 has been on hold since Novem­ber at the re­quest of the Justice De­part­ment.

In Janu­ary, the FBI ar­res­ted a fun­draiser for Grimm on charges that she il­leg­ally funneled more than $10,000 in­to his cam­paign. Grimm has also faced a con­tinu­ing fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to ac­cus­a­tions that he or his cam­paign il­leg­ally so­li­cited money from for­eign donors.

A former aide to a well-known Or­tho­dox rabbi, Yoshiyahu Pinto, pleaded guilty last year to visa fraud, and has been re­por­ted to be key fig­ure in the probe.

Grimm is a former Mar­ine and he of­ten uses his mil­it­ary ser­vice to push back at cri­ti­cism. He made news earli­er this year after he threatened to throw a NY1 re­port­er off a bal­cony after the re­port­er asked Grimm about the fed­er­al probe fol­low­ing the pres­id­ent’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress.

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