The sub-headline of this story: Godfather Goes to Washington.
Michael Grimm seems to be letting the FBI investigation against his corrupt campaign finance practices get to him. Just after the State of the Union address, Grimm took an interview with NY1 reporter, Michael Scotto. At the conclusion, the reporter attempted to ask him a question about the federal probe and Grimm curtly walked off camera. The reporter, addressing the camera, noted that Rep. Grimm had refused to discuss the allegations against him. Then he passed the segment back to the studio anchor. But while the camera was still rolling Grimm returned, and in a barely audible menacing voice (graciously amplified by NY1 techs) he threatens:
“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”
Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
It seems to me that Grimm is allowing his former association with the mob, both as an undercover FBI agent, and as a business partner with mobsters, to leak into his tenure as a member of Congress. The GOP leadership may want to ask itself how much Godfather-type behavior it can afford. Especially from someone as apparently crooked as Grimm.
Lest anyone harbor the illusion that Grimm was speaking metaphorically or that he’d merely gotten a little carried away with himself, read this chilling account of another Grimm-related incident in which he actually brandished a gun in a New York night club and demanded that all the “white people” in the hall leave. This guy is a thug, pure and simple. And the GOP should be proud of him because he’s doing to Congress what the GOP wants to do to America: milk it for everything it’s worth.
Grimm’s response to the incident didn’t do much to help his cause. He speaks of his “annoyance” at the reporter and “taking him to task,” when the viewing audience can plainly see his almost sputtering rage, not to mention hear what was essentially a death threat:
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last,” reads the statement.
NY1’s political director demanded a ‘full apology.’ But how do you apologize for threatening to murder someone? Gee, I didn’t really mean it. I was only intending to break half your bones and let the buzzards feed on the rest of you? Let’s let bygones be bygones, OK?
Let me remind you that Rep. Grimm fleeced followers of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto out of $500,000 for his 2010 campaign, some of whom weren’t citizens and therefore couldn’t legally donate to a federal campaign. I wonder whether, when the relationship went south with Pinto (who’s reputed to be a cooperating witness for the feds), whether Grimm threatened to break the rabbi “like a little Jew?”
Grimm told an Israeli TV interviewer that he first met the Rabbi after “doing a favor for a follower of his” during his undercover FBI work. When the FBI or the mob tell you they’re going to do you a favor, keep you hands on your wallet.
Rep. Grimm is the sort of American politician Bibi and Sara love. A tough guy who doesn’t take shit from anyone. A guy who looks out for his own interest and throws his weight around when he has to. A guy who doesn’t care what people think of him. A guy who’s willing to get his hands dirty when there’s a job to do. A guy, in short, just like contemporary Israel as represented by those charming folks running the place. In choosing Michael Grimm as their ally, they get what they deserve. And it does not reflect well on them or on Israel.
The crookedness doesn’t end with Grimm. Seven of the largest donors to Eric Cantor’s last Congressional race were Pinto’s followers. No word on whether any of them were promised green cards (as Grimm’s fundraiser promised Grimm donors) or were foreign nationals.
A little back story offered by a reader: I reported that Diana Durand, a Texas energy company executive, was charged with campaign finance violations. She is Grimm’s ex-girlfriend. It turns out that Grimm met her because he was CEO of a Texas biofuel company. The energy transport company has a spotty federal safety record. No word on who his “partners” are in that venture, and he wouldn’t say when asked. Inquiring minds want to know.
This story is gonna get good…