Grimm’s Confrontation With Reporter Goes to Ethics Committee

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) speaks to the media, January 2, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
Billy House
June 25, 2014, 2:51 p.m.

He’s got big­ger leg­al woes to con­tend with, for sure. But Rep. Mi­chael Grimm’s con­front­a­tion with a re­port­er after Pres­id­ent Obama’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress in Janu­ary is now of­fi­cially a mat­ter be­fore the House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee.

However, Eth­ics Com­mit­tee Chair­man Mi­chael Con­away and rank­ing mem­ber Linda Sanc­hez also an­nounced Wed­nes­day that Justice De­part­ment of­fi­cials have asked their pan­el to de­fer con­sid­er­a­tion of what happened between the Staten Is­land Re­pub­lic­an and Mi­chael Scotto, a re­port­er with NY1. And the com­mit­tee has agreed.

The com­mit­tee pre­vi­ously had been asked to delay con­sid­er­a­tion on oth­er mat­ters in­volving Grimm, on the heels of Grimm’s fed­er­al in­dict­ment in April in New York on 20 counts of fraud, per­jury, mail and wire fraud, and oth­er charges tied to his Man­hat­tan res­taur­ant.

He also re­mains un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion for cam­paign-fin­ance vi­ol­a­tions. On Wed­nes­day, the New York Daily News re­por­ted Grimm’s former girl­friend is in plea talks with fed­er­al pro­sec­utors to re­solve her own crim­in­al charges of vi­ol­at­ing cam­paign-fin­ance laws.

But as part of their an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day that Grimm’s al­ter­ca­tion with the re­port­er is of­fi­cially be­fore the Eth­ics Com­mit­tee, Con­away and Sanc­hez re­leased a one-page re­fer­ral re­port re­ceived April 9 from the Of­fice of Con­gres­sion­al Eth­ics, which es­sen­tially vets po­ten­tial eth­ics cases.

The re­port showed that the OCE had voted 6-0 to re­com­mend the Eth­ics Com­mit­tee fur­ther re­view Grimm’s ac­tions, “as there is sub­stan­tial reas­on to be­lieve that Rep­res­ent­at­ive Grimm threatened a re­port­er with bod­ily harm and en­gaged in a threat­en­ing or men­acing act that cre­ated a fear of im­me­di­ate in­jury, in vi­ol­a­tion of the D.C. Code and House rules.”

Grimm has already apo­lo­gized to Scotto for threat­en­ing to throw him over a bal­cony and, ac­cord­ing to press ac­counts, “break [him] in half.” Scotto had been at­tempt­ing to ask him about an in­vest­ig­a­tion con­cern­ing his 2010 cam­paign.

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