A tax felon who once threatened to toss a reporter off a balcony is hoping to make his way to the halls of Congress — again.
Michael Grimm, who was a U.S. representative from New York, between 2011 and 2015, told Politico that he’ll probably pursue another seat in the House, just a year after he failed to defeat incumbent Dan Donovan in the GOP primary for his state’s 11th District. (Democratic Rep. Max Rose later destroyed Donovan by 26 points in the general election.)
“I’m 90 percent of the way there to run,” Grimm told Politico.
“The cloud is gone. It’s over; it’s in the past. I’ve had a lot of colleagues call me and tell me they’d love to have me back.”
Just what’s in that cloudy past? To start, eight months in prison over felony tax fraud. He pleaded guilty to a 20-count indictment in 2014 that said he paid workers under the table, underreported $1 million in sales and wages, and avoided payroll and income taxes, among other charges.
Grimm was also once caught on camera threatening to throw a television reporter off a balcony for asking him about his campaign finance. After walking away from the reporter, Grimm reemerged on screen once he believed the camera has stopped rolling.
“Let me be clear to you,” Grimm, then a sitting congressman, said following President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address. “If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”
Grimm, playing a card from President Donald Trump’s hand, attempted to paint his political downfall as a political witch hunt.
“Who signed off on my indictment? James Comey,” Grimm said. “It’s the same exact players and the same exact playbook.”
Trump won the 11th district by 10 points in 2016, but Rose’s enormous victory — in midterm elections that saw a progressive blue wave sweep into the House — indicates that times may have changed.
Cover image: Former Representative Michael Grimm, a Staten Island Republican who went to jail for felony tax fraud, announced on Sunday October 1, 2017, he is running for his old job in New York City, NY, USA. (Photo by Dennis Van Tine/Sipa USA( Sipa via AP Images)