NEW YORK — Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who has been dogged by allegations of campaign violations since his first campaign for Congress in 2009 and 2010, is facing criminal charges from federal prosecutors, his lawyer said Friday.
A House Ethics Committee announced in November that Grimm was under investigation for possible campaign finance violations but said it would defer its inquiry because of a separate Department of Justice investigation.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn said Friday he couldn't confirm, deny or comment on the case. The FBI's New York office, which handles investigations, also declined to comment.
Grimm's attorney, William McGinley, said in a statement he wasn't surprised by the impending charges, which he didn't disclose. But he maintained the lawmaker had done nothing wrong.
"After more than two years of investigation plagued by malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics, the U.S. Attorney's Office has disclosed its intent to file criminal charges against Congressman Grimm," he said in the statement. "When the dust settles, he will be vindicated."
Grimm made headlines in January after confronting on a Capitol balcony a New York cable news station reporter who tried to question him about a long-running FBI investigation into campaign finance.
After reporter Michael Scotto finished his report, Grimm stormed back, leaned into him and said, "If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this (expletive) balcony."
Scotto, who was asking about fundraising during Grimm's first campaign, protested, saying he was asking "a valid question."
During that race, Grimm has acknowledged receiving $250,000 to $300,000 in contributions from followers of an Israeli rabbi. Some members of the rabbi's congregation subsequently said they made tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions, including gifts passed through straw donors.