An independent advisory office has recommended that the House Ethics Committee investigate charges that a Staten Island congressman threatened to harm a reporter, but the bipartisan House panel has deferred action, according to documents released Wednesday.
The incident in question involved Republican Michael Grimm, a second-term lawmaker who was indicted in April on separate federal tax evasion charges.
After President Barack Obama finished delivering his State of the Union address in January, Grimm was captured on camera threatening to throw the reporter off a balcony after he had asked Grimm about an FBI probe. The reporter, Michael Scotto, worked for NY1.
“There is substantial reason to believe that Representative Grimm threatened a reporter with bodily harm and engaged in a threatening or menacing act that created a fear of immediate injury, in violation of the D.C. code and House rules,” said a report by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Its board — which does not include members of Congress — voted 6-0 on March 28 to recommend that the House Ethics Committee investigate the incident further, according to the report released Wednesday.
In a separate statement, the
10-member House Ethics Committee said it voted unanimously on June 18 to defer action on the incident after the Justice Department asked for a delay.