New York Republican congressman Grimm to be indicted, lawyer says

 Federal prosecutors intend to bring criminal charges against Michael Grimm, a Republican U.S. congressman from New York who has been under investigation for campaign finance violations, his lawyer said on Friday.

Attorney William McGinley condemned the expected charges as a “politically driven vendetta” against the congressman, who generated headlines in January when he threatened to throw a television reporter off a balcony after an interview in the U.S. Capitol building.

Another source familiar with the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that charges against Grimm were likely.

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Grimm, a former Marine, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 as one of a wave of conservatives backed by the Tea Party movement, which advocates small government and minimal taxes. Federal investigators have been looking into his political fundraising for at least two years.

Grimm’s confrontation with the reporter, which was caught on camera, took place on the evening of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress.

“I will break you in half,” Grimm told the reporter with cable channel NY1 News, who had asked the Republican about the federal investigation into possible campaign finance violations.

McGinley, his lawyer, said the congressman ultimately will be vindicated of the charges.

“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,” the lawyer added.

Diana Durand, a fundraiser for Grimm, was arrested in January on charges that she illegally funneled more than $10,000 to his campaign.

The House ethics committee opened a formal probe into the congressman’s campaign finance activities in 2012, but unanimously voted to defer the inquiry in light of the Justice Department’s investigation.

The committee’s probe had focused on allegations that Grimm broke federal campaign finance laws by soliciting and accepting prohibited campaign contributions, filed false campaign finance reports and improperly sought assistance from a foreign national in soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for helping get a “green card” signifying permanent U.S. residence.

Grimm, who represents New York City’s borough of Staten Island, grew up in New York, dropped out of college to join the Marines and served in the Gulf War, then joined the FBI as a clerk while going to college at night.

He eventually became a special agent investigating financial fraud and organized crime before leaving the FBI to open a health food store.

Federal prosecutors are preparing to announce criminal charges against Rep. Michael Grimm, capping a two-year FBI investigation that ranges from his business dealings to his first campaign for Congress in 2010, according to his lawyer and U.S. officials briefed on the matter.

In recent months, public attention has focused on the 44-year-old House member’s campaign donations after a friend and donor was charged with funneling illegal contributions to Grimm’s campaign four years ago.

The former FBI agent and two-term Republican lawmaker from New York made headlines when he was shown on camera threatening to throw a reporter over a Capitol Hill balcony after an interview following the State of the Union address in January.

A former Marine, Grimm represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

From CNN:

Congressman attacks reporter on live TV

 The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn declined to comment on the expectation that charges could be filed as soon as next week.

An attorney for Grimm, William McGinley, said in a statement to CNN that the “U.S. Attorney’s Office has disclosed its intent to file criminal charges” against the congressman, and that Grimm “asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing.”

McGinley said that “we are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised,” and that Grimm would remain in office and would be vindicated.

He added that the investigation has been “plagued by malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics,” saying that “from the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth.”

Prosecutors are in discussions with Grimm’s attorney to make arrangements for the congressman to turn himself in to face charges, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Such arrangements are common in cases involving lawmakers, rather than having agents making a surprise arrest.

Prosecutors in New York and the Justice Department’s public integrity section in Washington have been reviewing details of the case against Grimm in recent weeks, and have decided to proceed with charges, the officials said.

Charges are expected to relate to Grimm’s previous business dealings and alleged false statements he provided when questioned by the government about them. Precise details couldn’t be learned.

Investigators have previously focused on Grimm’s involvement with a former donor and ownership of a Manhattan restaurant, Healthalicious. The donor, Ofer Biton, has pleaded guilty to filing false documents in an investor visa application.

If prosecutors bring charges, they will have to do so without the help of a Grimm donor and friend, Donna Durand, who hasn’t provided the testimony against the lawmaker that prosecutors sought, her lawyer said.

Attorney Stuart Kaplan said negotiations with the government have failed to produce a deal, and Kaplan now expects them to secure an indictment against Durand.

“The government made clear the door is open. They would like her to come in and talk about Michael Grimm,” said Kaplan. “She just doesn’t have anything, she can’t make it up.”

Kaplan said Durand had a long-distance and strong friendship with Grimm and didn’t intend to violate campaign finance laws when she organized and reimbursed donations beyond campaign-finance limits.

He said she was “not a sophisticated person” and had not been involved in campaign finance, and that any errors she made were because “she was trying to help someone she cared about.”

The investigation into campaign finance is still ongoing.

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Christopher Paiva is founder and editor-in chief of He is an author and publisher, His Main Goal is to Get Alternative, Independent News Out Everywhere. Do Not Trust The Mainstream Media!
  • The_Questman

    I don’t expect this will be the last. Obama/Holder has the entire NSA and FBI looking into the lives of anyone who poses a threat to the communist takeover of America.