Monday, April 28, 2014

Even before the indictment was unsealed, the Conservative Party Leadership was looking to dump Grimm

Mike Long tells New York Times that Grimm needed to do the right thing for the citizens of his district  ---  even before today's events had unfolded:  including a twenty count federal indictment against Congressman Grimm, and a statement by an FBI Agent in Charge denouncing Grimm as a former FBI agent

In a 4/27/14  report that appeared in The New  York Times' Monday edition, Mike Long was quoted as follows: "[Congressman Grimm] ought to give some serious thought to the citizens of his district and do the right thing for those citizens....  I don’t know what the truth is,  but I do know that I think it’s going to be very difficult for him to mount a serious campaign when this is hanging over his head....”  ( See "For Politician, an Indictment Looms, and So Does a Campaign for Re-election" by Thomas Kaplan, 4/27/14 [print edition 4/28/14], NY Times []).

The indictment against Michael Grimm was unsealed today, and the Congressman turned himself in, formally denied the charges and was released on bail (See "We read the Michael Grimm indictment so you don’t have to" by Wesley Lowery, 4/28/14, Washington Post []).  The Washington Post report contained the following synopsis of what it described as a 30-page indictment against the Congressman for Staten Island and some parts of Brooklyn:
"According to prosecutors, Grimm....  ***  [ ]Hired a staff of illegal immigrants. As Healthalicious' business manager, Grimm was in charge of hiring and firing, as well as of the payroll (more on that later). According to the indictment, Grimm routinely hired workers who did not have legal papers to work in the United States. The fact that Grimm is accused of hiring illegal immigrants is significant in part because the congressman is one of a handful of House Republicans who has publicly supported passing comprehensive immigration reform this year.  ***  [ ] Paid his staff in cash, under the table. According to the indictment, Grimm kept two separate payroll documents; he would pay half of an employee's due on the books and dole out cash for the rest. This setup, prosecutors say, allowed Grimm to under-report the amount he was spending in wages and therefore dodge hefty payroll taxes due to the state and federal government. ***  [ ] Used an AOL email account to run the restaurant while he was campaigning. According to the indictment, Grimm hired two new employees -- a business manager and an accountant -- to help carry out the scheme once he had entered the 2010 Congressional race. Officials say Grimm corresponded  with the business manager via email (an AOL email account!), telling him how much cash to pay employees during any given pay period. Grimm allegedly kept information about his cash payments from the accountant, which ultimately led to errors when tax returns were filed for the company.  ***  [ ] Lied about it all, under oath. In January 2013, Grimm was deposed in a federal lawsuit filed by two former 'Healthalicious' employees who accused him of paying them less than minimum wage. According to the indictment, Grimm attempted to hide his cash-payment scheme by lying under oath about whether he paid employees in cash, what his interactions were with the payroll management company, whether he corresponded via email about Healthalicious' business, and whether he still had access to the email address."


According to a Reuters  Report, " 'As a former FBI agent, Representative Grimm should understand the motto: fidelity, bravery, and integrity. Yet he broke our credo at nearly every turn,' said George Venizelos, who runs the FBI's New York office.  ***  'Representative Grimm lived by a new motto: fraud, perjury, and obstruction,' Venizelos said...." ( See "Republican Representative Grimm of NY indicted on fraud charges" by Bernard Vaughan and Aruna Viswnatha, 4/28/14, Reuters  []). Similar, but more expanded remarks by the same FBI supervisor were contained in an ABC report (See "FBI Arrests and Rips Rep. Michael Grimm, an Ex-FBI Agent" by Aaron Katersky, 4/28/14, ABC News []).



 "After years of the US Attorney searching for a crime they (all the prosecutors and investigators) come up with against Grimm is paying restaurant workers in cash. If that standard was applied across the board, there wouldn't be any restaurants operating in Manhattan. This US Attorney was, and apparently still is, a Schumer operative. This is one problem when prosecutors owe their jobs to  other politicians. It's a fact of life"



On the "Is It Legal" segment of  last night's The O'Reilly Factor, with Lis Wiehl and Kimberly Guilfoyle doing counterpoint to Bill O'Reilly, everybody was pretty much in agreement that the timing of the U.S. Attorney's unsealing of the Grimm indictment was political. They were also in agreement that, based upon the charges contained in the federal complaint, Grimm is finished politically and probably will wind up in jail.


In what looks like a death knell for the Grimm re-election campaign, House Republican leaders are coming close to pulling the plug on Rep. Michael Grimm’s reelection campaign by cutting off funding from the national party’s main campaign committee to the embattled Staten Island lawmaker (See "In Michael Grimm, the surprising rise of a nobody" by Geoff Earle, 4/29/14, NY Post []). According to the NY Post, without such funding from DC, Grimm is effectively on his own as he works to win reelection in a competitive district while under federal indictment for tax fraud, obstruction, and perjury. “As long as these legal issues are playing out there we’re going to hold off,” National Republican Campaign Committee chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) told the Post. “That’s our analysis this day and time. We have to look where we can go win seats...  In any race certain dynamics occur cause you to reevaluate. And certainly a 20-count indictment causes you to reevaluate,” Walden added. 


Anonymous said...

Why has nobody pointed out that Congressman Grimm had a few businesses after leaving the FBI. Also that some of his business associates had interesting backgrounds. Also that Grimm is an accountant and a lawyer.

Galewyn Massey said...

See "UPDATE 4/29/14:..." above

Anonymous said...

In response to the 4/29 update-

Not all restaurants in Manhattan are run by "law and order" republican congressman who tout their tea party roots and law enforcement background.

Galewyn Massey said...


Last week when the story about the upcoming Grimm indictment first broke, the SI Advance reported that Staten Island GOP Chairman John Antoniello said that he was "comfortable" with Grimm going forward with his re-election bid "if that's what he wants."

More recent SI Advance articles make it appear that many other Republicans are not nearly so comfortable about all this.

Galewyn Massey said...

See "UPDATE 4/30/14:..." above in post.

Anonymous said...

This post had it right connecting Mike Long to pulling the rug on Congressman Grimm, but it didn't say why. Then it mentioned in its last update that the Washington GOP had cut off Grimm. If there are no bucks for Grimm, then there are no bucks for Long and his party for supporting Grimm. For Long that's the best reason in the world to pull the rug on Grimm.

Anonymous said...

Golden must be overjoyed at Grimm's problems. Golden is back on the top of the Brooklyn GOP totem pole all alone and this blog is bashing Grimm instead of Golden.