Representative Michael Grimm Indicted For Fraud

Remember the Republican Congressman who threatened to throw a reporter off of a balcony after the State of the Union? He’s reportedly been indicted by a grand jury, and may just cost Republicans a seat in the House of Representatives. New York Representative Michael Grimm has been secretly indicted by the U.S. attorney for mail fraud, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice, according to the Washington Post. The case will focus on Grimm’s fundraising for his 2010 House race, as well as a health food store he owned in 2006, and the timing of the charge has a good chance of handing his House seat to Democrats.

The nature of the case against Grimm is unclear, but it reportedly involves Healthalicious, a health food store he owned on the Upper East Side before and well into his stint in Congress. Healthalicious was plagued with accusations that it mistreated workers: The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board it $88,000 in 2012 for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance, and two former employees sued the company for failing to pay them minimum wage or overtime pay.

At attorney for Grimm acknowledged that the indictment was coming, but insisted that “when the dust settles, [Grimm] will be vindicated.”

Grimm represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, and he’s the only Republican in New York City’s congressional delegation. Thanks to the timing of this indictment, New York City Republicans may soon have no congressional delegation whatsoever.

The filing period for Grimm’s race closed on April 10th, meaning it’s too late for Republicans to replace him with another candidate for the 2014 midterms. His House seat is in a swing district, and Grimm’s Democratic challenger, City Councilman Domenic Recchia, is considered a formidable opponent. Thus, if the investigation against Grimm proceeds and damages his standing even a little bit, Recchia could swoop in and give Democrats an extra House seat they weren’t otherwise expecting.

Grimm was elected in 2010 after serving, ironically, in the FBI. He first came to national prominence in early 2014 when he was caught on tape threatening to assault a reporter and attacking his manhood.

“You’re not man enough...I’ll break you in half, like a boy,” Grimm said. “I’ll throw you off this f—ing balcony.”

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