GOP leader won't rule out supporting ex-convict tax cheat for Congress


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met with Michael Grimm, the disgraced former New York congressman who threatened reporters with violence and went to prison for tax evasion.

Former New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm may have had to resign in disgrace from Congress in 2015, after he was sentenced to prison for tax fraud.

However, Republicans aren't definitively ruling out backing Grimm in a potential comeback bid for Congress in 2020.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met with Grimm on Wednesday about Grimm's potential comeback bid, the Hill newspaper reported.


A McCarthy aide described the meeting with Grimm as a "courtesy."

"Grimm requested the meeting ahead of a run as a courtesy," McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks told the Hill. "As a general practice, McCarthy reciprocates meeting requests with candidates."

Of course, a member of Congress with a legally checkered past is nothing new for House Republicans.

Two current GOP members — Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York — are both under federal indictment for separate crimes.

Hunter was indicted for using campaign funds for personal expenditures, including family vacations and clothing that Hunter wrote off as a gift for "wounded warriors." And Collins was indicted on flagrant insider trading charges.

Aside from Grimm's prison stint, he also made waves as a member of Congress when he threatened a local reporter with violence.

After the reporter asked Grimm about the federal indictment Grimm later pleaded guilty to, Grimm threatened the reporter saying, "I'll break you in half. Like a boy." Grimm also threatened to toss that same reporter off a balcony in the U.S. Capitol.

If Grimm decides to run, he'd face a GOP primary for the chance to face off with freshman Democratic Rep. Max Rose, a veteran who won a surprising victory in New York's Staten Island-based 11th District that Trump carried by a 10-point margin in 2016.

Grimm tweeted at Rose after his day on Capitol Hill meeting with his old GOP buddies.

"As majestic as ever!" Grimm tweeted, referring to a picture of the Capitol Dome. "Great seeing some old friends. Don't get too comfortable, @MaxRose4NY!"

Some things never change.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.