On Friday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow examined the curious case of Republican Rep. Michael Grimm (NY), who is reportedly about to face a federal grand jury indictment and who notoriously threatened a reporter on camera.
On Friday, sources familiar with Grimm’s case said that an indictment is pending on multiple felony charges.
While the exact charges against Grimm aren’t yet known, they will the culmination of a years-long investigation that netted Grimm’s former girlfriend Diana Durand early this year on campaign corruption charges and obstruction of justice.
For Maddow, the standout moment of Grimm’s career, though, was his threatening interaction after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address with Michael Scotto, a reporter with cable channel NY1 News.
“I will break you in half,” said Grimm through gritted teeth. “Like a boy.”
The former Marine was incensed that Scotto asked him about the grand jury investigation and Grimm threatened to throw him off a balcony in the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda if he ever asked again.
“I never understood the ‘like a boy’ part,” Maddow quipped.
Grimm’s attorney William McGinley insisted that the investigation that it is a “politically driven vendetta” against his client and that any charges of wrongdoing are without merit.
An indictment is by no means a guarantee that Grimm will be convicted, Maddow said. He rode the Tea Party wave into Congress in 2010, surprising observers of the election by lavishly out-fundraising and out-spending every other candidate in the race. The grand jury convened in 2012 to examine the Grimm campaign’s finances.
A number of arrests of campaign personnel by the FBI followed. Some individuals have plead guilty and charges against Grimm are expected by some to encompass mail and wire fraud, but other sources say that the charges are actually related to Grimm’s private business dealings including an restaurant he opened on the Upper East Side in Manhattan called “Healthilicious.”
Maddow welcomed New Yorker writer Evan Ratliff to the program. Ratliff has followed Grimm’s career closely and said that indictments have long been expected. The only question has been on what charges.
Ratliff said that, yes, Grimm’s penchant for displays of temper has dogged him from the Marines to the FBI to the altercation with Scotto. But what really seems to characterize Grimm’s thinking, he said, is “a sense that he’s untouchable.”
“The connective tissue is that when the accusations come out,” Ratliff said, “Grimm or his lawyers say ‘This is a Democratic plot,’ or ‘These people are out to get me. I’ll be vindicated in the end. And so far, he’s been, like, the teflon congressman.”
Watch the video, embedded below: