The good news for Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) is that the House Ethics Committee won’t be looking into his alleged misconduct anytime soon. The bad news is, the committee’s members backed off because the Justice Department asked them to.
“The Department of Justice has asked the Committee to continue to defer consideration of this matter and the Committee, following precedent, agreed to continue to defer consideration of this matter at this time,” Ethics Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and ranking member Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., said in a joint statement. “At least annually, the Committee will make a public statement [if] it continues to defer taking action on the matter.” […]Grimm is specifically being looked at for allegedly “soliciting and accepting federal campaign contributions, caus[ing] false information to be included in campaign finance reports, and improperly [seeking] assistance from a foreign national in soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for offering to use his official position to assist that individual in obtaining a green card.”
Grimm has been under investigation for over a year, but the probe didn’t stop the congressman from winning re-election in his Staten Island district last year.
The fact that the investigation remains ongoing, however, must be unsettling for the Republican lawmaker.
For those unfamiliar with Grimm’s troubles, the New York Times ran a report in February 2012 on allegations the congressman skirted fundraising limits and accepted envelopes with cash in them in 2010, during his first campaign. The Times also documented Grimm’s business partnership with a fellow former FBI agent who was indicted on racketeering and fraud charges.
In July 2012, a federal grand jury was convened after the FBI’s public corruption unit interviewed several Grimm campaign workers. A law enforcement source told the New York Daily News at the time, “Let’s say, so far, it is a tool to get people’s attention – that we are serious about our questions about the congressman.”
The New York Republican continues to say he’s done nothing wrong.