Grimm’s House Ethics Inquiry Delayed at Feds’ Request

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) speaks to the media, January 2, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Billy House
May 23, 2014, 9:22 a.m.

The House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee says it is open­ing its own in­vest­ig­a­tion — sort of — in­to pos­sible mis­con­duct by in­dicted Rep. Mi­chael Grimm, but that it won’t get star­ted right away.

“The De­part­ment of Justice has asked the com­mit­tee to de­fer con­sid­er­a­tion of the mat­ters in the in­vest­ig­at­ive sub­com­mit­tee’s jur­is­dic­tion,” said Reps. Mike Con­away, R-Texas, and Linda Sanc­hez, D-Cal­if., in a joint state­ment Fri­day an­noun­cing the eth­ics in­quiry.

When, and if, the House in­quiry does ever be­gin, Con­away and Sanc­hez said they will them­selves serve as the top two law­makers on the in­vest­ig­at­ive sub­pan­el that has been already ap­poin­ted by the com­mit­tee.

The an­nounce­ment of the Eth­ics Com­mit­tee’s ac­tion was not un­ex­pec­ted. If and when the in­vest­ig­at­ive sub­com­mit­tee does pro­ceed with a probe — and the en­tire com­mit­tee ul­ti­mately agrees with any find­ing of mis­con­duct — pun­it­ive ac­tions the House could take against Grimm, a Re­pub­lic­an from Staten Is­land, range from a “let­ter of re­prov­al” to a re­com­mend­a­tion of ex­pul­sion, a de­cision that would re­quire a full-blown Eth­ics Com­mit­tee in­quiry.

Grimm, 44, a former FBI agent, was in­dicted last month by fed­er­al pro­sec­utors in New York on 20 counts of fraud, per­jury, mail and wire fraud, and oth­er charges tied to his Man­hat­tan res­taur­ant. Among ac­cus­a­tions is that he tried to hide more than $1 mil­lion in rev­en­ue, and pro­sec­utors also said he hired un­doc­u­mented im­mig­rants.

Grimm has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.

And for now, news of an im­pend­ing House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee in­vest­ig­a­tion would ap­pear to be one of the less­er leg­al wor­ries fa­cing Grimm.

In fact, Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment was es­sen­tially a form­al­ity. “Un­der the House Rules, today’s routine an­nounce­ment by the Com­mit­tee on Eth­ics was fully ex­pec­ted,” said Grimm’s at­tor­ney, Wil­li­am Mc­Gin­ley.

That’s be­cause House rules re­quire the com­mit­tee to make a de­cision on wheth­er to open such an in­vest­ig­a­tion “not later than 30 days after a mem­ber of the House is in­dicted or oth­er­wise form­ally charged with crim­in­al con­duct in any Fed­er­al, State or loc­al court.”

When it does pro­ceed with an in­quiry, the com­mit­tee is re­spons­ible for in­vest­ig­at­ing wheth­er House mem­bers have vi­ol­ated the cham­ber’s Code of Of­fi­cial Con­duct or “any law, reg­u­la­tion, or oth­er ap­plic­able stand­ard of con­duct” in the per­form­ance of their du­ties or the dis­charge of his re­spons­ib­il­it­ies.

The an­nounce­ment Fri­day said that join­ing Con­away and Sanc­hez on the in­vest­ig­at­ive sub­pan­el are Reps. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla. But the pan­el’s work is be­ing put off.

The Justice De­part­ment asked it to de­fer ac­tion, as fed­er­al pro­sec­utors con­tin­ue put­ting to­geth­er their case. In re­sponse, Con­away and Sanc­hez said, “The Com­mit­tee, fol­low­ing pre­ced­ent, un­an­im­ously voted to re­com­mend to the In­vest­ig­at­ive Sub­com­mit­tee that it de­fer ac­tion on its in­vest­ig­a­tion at this time.”

What We're Following See More »
THE PLAN ALL ALONG?
Manchin Drops Objections, Clearing Way for Spending Deal
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."

Source:
UNCLEAR WHAT CAUSED CHANGE OF HEART
Giuliani Out of Running For State
17 hours ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.

Source:
ALSO VICE-CHAIR OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM
Trump Taps Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior Secretary
22 hours ago
BREAKING
SHUTDOWN LOOMING
House Approves Spending Bill
1 days ago
BREAKING

The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.

HEADS TO OBAMA
Senate Approves Defense Bill
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login