U.S. Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican whose lawyer said he faces federal charges, was arrested this morning, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Grimm, 44, 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 the Brooklyn shoreline, has been targeted by Democrats as a potential pickup in November’s election.
The congressman previously worked as 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 taken into custody by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, said the person, who declined to be identified before an announcement of the arrest. Grimm’s lawyer said last week that charges would be filed against the lawmaker. U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn, New York, has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m.
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 last week. “Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing.”
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.