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Lawyer Says Charges to Be Filed Against Grimm of New York

U.S. Representative Michael Grimm
U.S. Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican, had been under investigation by the House ethics committee over whether he violated campaign finance laws. Photographer: Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Criminal charges will soon be filed against U.S. Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican, his attorney said in a statement.

Grimm had been under investigation by the House ethics committee over whether he violated campaign finance laws. The ethics panel said Nov. 26 it was suspending its investigation at the request of the Justice Department.

“The U.S. attorney’s office has disclosed its intent to file criminal charges against Congressman Grimm,” his attorney, William McGinley, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing. When the dust settles, he will be vindicated.”

Charges may be filed as soon as April 28, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified before a formal announcement. Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch’s office declined to comment.

The ethics panel was investigating whether Grimm violated campaign finance laws “by soliciting and accepting prohibited campaign contributions,” causing false information to be included in finance reports, and helping a foreign national gain legal residency in exchange for soliciting donations.

“From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth,” McGinley said.

McGinley said Grimm would “continue to serve his constituents” during the process.

Politico first reported that charges were expected to be filed against Grimm.

Grimm, 44, was a U.S. marshal and Wall Street financial analyst before becoming an FBI special agent. He went undercover posing as a hedge-fund manager for almost two years to bring down a money laundering operation.

Grimm was elected to Congress in the Tea Party wave of 2010. He won re-election in 2012 with 52 percent of the vote. His district, which includes Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has been targeted by Democrats as a potential pickup in November’s election.

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Wallbank in Washington at dwallbank@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net Laurie Asseo, Don Frederick

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