A GOP ex-congressman indicted while in office is offering advice to fellow New York Republican Chris Collins following the current congressman’s Wednesday arrest.
In an interview with The New York Times, former congressman Michael Grimm implored Rep. Collins (R-NY) to remain strong in the face of fellow members of Congress who will soon shun him.
“He’s going to have a really, really difficult emotional time,” Grimm said. “And whether he knows it or not, a lot of Washington is going to look at him as a pariah.”
Collins was arrested on August 8 for alleged insider trading and securities fraud. He surrendered himself to the FBI in the midst of an investigation into his relationship with Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, an Australian biotech company whose board the congressman sits on.
Grimm was arrested while he was a sitting member of Congress on 20 counts related to tax evasion. As the Times noted, he was re-elected in spite of his indictment, but he never was seated because he went to prison following a guilty plea. Nevertheless, the Staten Island Republican believes “his case could provide a road map of sorts” for Collins, the report continued.
The former congressman’s advice for Collins: “Dig in, hire good lawyers (read: expensive), expect to be pummeled in the press and find something, anything else to run on and talk about.”
“He’s going to have to swallow every bit of it. And smile,” Grimm told the Times. “He should go right back to his job and remain professional.”
“Washington, as long as you’re riding high, they want to be your friend,” he continued. “And when you’re not, they don’t want to be anywhere near you.”
Grimm, who lost his primary bid to run for Congress again earlier this summer, also told the Times that his “only true friend” in DC was a dog named Sebastien that he adopted early in his stint in the House.