Rep. Michael Grimm’s (R-N.Y.) first major reversal came last week. After months in which the Republican congressman vowed to fight his 20-count criminal indictment, insisting throughout that he was the victim of a “political witch hunt,” Grimm changed his posture a week ago, pleading guilty to one felony count of tax fraud.
Asked whether he would resign, the New York lawmaker said last week, “Absolutely not.” Grimm argued that since his crime “happened before” he was elected to Congress, he didn’t see the need to step down.
All of which led to his second major reversal.
Embattled New York Rep. Michael Grimm will resign his seat in Congress following his guilty plea for felony tax evasion, a House leadership aide confirmed to NBC News on Monday. […]In a statement late Monday night, Grimm said, “The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters. However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100 percent effective in the next Congress.”
The details of the upcoming process have not yet been announced, but there will have to be a special election in Grimm’s competitive New York district. Look for both parties to take the race seriously.
The lawmaker’s shift came on the heels of Grimm’s speaking with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) yesterday. We don’t know exactly what was said, but it seems safe to assume the GOP leader told the New Yorker he would have no party support if he remained in Congress as a convicted felon.
As for Grimm himself, the Republican congressman departs Capitol Hill after just four years on the job, but there’s no denying just how eventful his brief tenure has been. Let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane.
For example, there was the incident in which Grimm threatened physical violence against a reporter, vowing to break him “like a boy” after the journalist had the audacity to ask the lawmaker about the criminal investigations pending against him.
There was also the time Grimm crashed his own allies’ press conference about veterans’ care.
Arguably my personal favorite came in early 2011, when Grimm, who ran on a platform opposing the Affordable Care Act, was asked whether he would forgo the taxpayer-financed coverage he hoped to deny others. He responded, “What am I, not supposed to have health care? It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation. That can happen to anyone.” Two weeks later, Grimm voted to repeal the ACA and deny coverage to millions.
Grimm’s resignation takes effect on Monday, Jan. 5.