Jul 17, 2012
Congressman Grimm Still Facing FBI Investigation
Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11) may want people to think that he has been cleared of wrongdoing, but the facts are clear: the FBI continues to investigate his fundraising activities. In fact, the Office of Congressional Ethics has no jurisdiction over Congressman Grimm’s 2010 campaign when he was allegedly breaking the law with his fundraising operation.
“Congressman Grimm has already racked up more than $300,000 in legal bills and that is sure to continue as the FBI continues looking into his potentially illegal campaign fundraising last election,” said Josh Schwerin, Northeast Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Grimm can try to spin his way out of this, but that won’t change the fact that he is facing a federal investigation and a mountain of legal bills.”
FALSE: The Office of Congressional Ethics [OCE] cleared Congressman Grimm of all wrongdoing.
FACT: OCE has no jurisdiction over the time period prior to Congressman Grimm’s election. The FBI is currently investigating those actions.
FBI Investigating Grimm’s Fundraising, Questioning Campaign Staff. “The FBI has questioned at least four people who worked on Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign as part of its ongoing probe into allegations the Tea Party favorite took illegal election donations. […] The four, either campaign operatives and volunteers, were questioned in the past two weeks. In one case, the interview was conducted by a federal tag team that included an Assistant U.S. Attorney, sources told the Daily News. The FBI opened an inquiry into the Republican’s fund-raising after members of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto’s New York congregation complained he was strong-arming them for donations, as the New York Times reported in January.” [New York Daily News, 6/20/12]
OCE Ruling Covers Only Grimm’s Time In Congress. “OCE’s findings cover only the period since Grimm became a member of the House in Jan. 2011. The DOJ probe is scrutinizing his initial run for Congress.” [Politico, 7/17/12]
OCE’s Jurisdiction Includes Only Violations Committed While Serving in Congress. According to the rules governing the Office of Congressional Ethics, the office only has jurisdiction over potential violations that a Member commits while serving in the House of Representatives. The Office has jurisdiction to investigate allegations that: (1) a Member, officer or employee of the House […] (2) on or after March 11, 2008 […] (3) has violated a law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct in effect at the time the conduct occurred and applicable to the subject in the performance of his or her duties or the discharge of his or her responsibilities. Resolution Section 1(c)(1)(A) and (e). The Board shall only review information related to allegations within the Office’s jurisdiction. [OCE, 2/27/09]