After a reported Monday conversation with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), confessed felon Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) agreed to resign from Congress.
Grimm pleaded guilty before Christmas to a felony tax charge that carries a punishment of up to three years in prison, but said he wouldn’t resign. He kept his House seat in November with 53 percent of the vote compared to 40 percent for his Democratic challenger, councilman Domenic Recchia.
The former FBI agent and Marine veteran won his third term despite the 20-count indictment brought against him in April for tax evasion and perjury, and despite threatening a Capitol Hill reporter in the rotunda in January while the camera was still rolling.
Grimm is currently the only Republican representing a part of New York City in the House. Gov. Andrew Cuomo can call a special election to fill the seat.
“After much thought and prayer, I have made the very difficult decision to step down from Congress effective January 5th, 2015. This decision is made with a heavy heart, as I have enjoyed a very special relationship and closeness with my constituents, whom I care about deeply,” Grimm said in a statement.
“The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters. However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the Office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
Grimm will receive his sentence on the guilty plea June 8.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the hardworking families on both sides of the Verrazano, and I am sincerely grateful for the love and support that I have received from so many over the past few difficult months.”
After January’s State of the Union address, NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto tried to ask Grimm about an investigation into his campaign finances. “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony,” the congressman said.
The reporter asked why Grimm would say that since he asked a valid question.
“No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” Grimm said.
Grimm didn’t quite apologize, saying in a statement afterward that the reporter knew he was in too much of a hurry to go off-topic. “I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor,” Grimm said.“I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.”
He would later personally call the reporter to apologize.