Campaign 2010

Apr 29, 2014

“Zero Tolerance” House Republican Leaders Funnel Nearly $100K to Grimm

Despite promises of “zero tolerance” House Republican leaders have funneled nearly $100,000 to indicted Congressman Michael Grimm, who is paying some of his substantial legal funds out of his campaign account.

Congressman Grimm has been under investigation for months, but that hasn’t stopped Speaker John Boehner, Leader Eric Cantor, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden and the rest of the Republican leadership team from sending cash to the tainted Congressman. With his arrest on federal criminal charges, Republican leaders now face a choice–demand their money back, or continue to defend one of the most corrupt Members of Congress.

“So much for a zero-tolerance ethics policy–for House Republican leaders, it’s more like a $100,000 bonanza for Michael Grimm’s legal bills,” said Josh Schwerin of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “If Speaker Boehner and the rest of House Republican leaders want to maintain any shred of credibility, they should immediately demand back the money they have given to Congressman Grimm, who is under a 20-count federal indictment.”

BACKGROUND:

Congressman Michael Grimm Arrested on Fraud, Perjury and Obstruction Charges. “The FBI arrested New York Congressman Michael Grimm -- a former FBI agent -- on fraud and perjury charges today and then ripped into him for dishonoring the FBI code. Grimm, a Republican from New York City's borough of Staten Island, surrendered to the FBI this morning […]Grimm, 44, a former Marine as well as an ex-FBI agent, was indicted on charges of fraud, perjury and obstruction. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $400,000 bond secured by his house.” [ABC News, 4/28/14]

House Republican Leadership Pledged Zero-Tolerance on Ethics Violations.  In 2010, Republican Leader Eric Cantor said: “I think that as Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy — that we understand there are reasons for our being fired in ‘06 and ’08.” In 2007, Republican Speaker John Boehner wrote to his colleagues in a memo that he “will simply not tolerate ethical misconduct within our conference.” [YouTube, uploaded 8/10/10; Politico, 11/20/13]

Republican Speaker John Boehner Gave $31,000 to Grimm’s Election Efforts.  Between 2010 and 2014, Grimm received $25,000 from Boehner’s Freedom Project and $6,000 from Boehner for Congress. [CQMoneyLine, accessed 4/28/14]

Republican Leader Eric Cantor Gave $25,000 to Grimm’s Election Efforts.  Between 2010 and 2014, Grimm received $25,000 from Cantor’s ERIC PAC. [CQMoneyLine, accessed 4/28/14]

Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy Gave $22,000 to Grimm’s Election Efforts. Between 2010 and 2014, Grimm received $20,000 from McCarthy’s Majority Committee PAC and $2,000 from McCarthy for Congress. [CQMoneyLine, accessed 4/28/14]

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden Gave $12,000 to Grimm’s Election Efforts.  Between 2010 and 2014, Grimm received $12,000 from Walden’s New Pioneers PAC. [CQMoneyLine, accessed 4/28/14]

Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers Gave $4,500 to Grimm’s Election Efforts. Between 2010 and 2014, Grimm received $4,500 from McMorris Rodgers’ CMR PAC. [CQMoneyLine, accessed 4/28/14