Law Enforcement Disputes Michael Grimm’s Account of Office Break-In
Two days after Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) announced that his campaign computer’s hard drive had been wiped clean during a raid on his Staten Island campaign headquarters, a law enforcement official said there is no evidence that any such tampering occurred.
This official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the New York Times on Monday that “police experts had examined the campaign’s computer system and concluded that nothing has been erased or tampered with.”
According to the Times, the official also said there was no evidence to suggest there had even been an intrusion inside the office itself.
A perpetrator did throw a brick, a chunk of cement and rocks through the windows. Grimm in a statement said he believed that was used to cover up the real purpose of the visit: to steal sensitive information and polling data from the campaign computer’s hard drive.
“This is a disgraceful act of cowardice that is beneath the people I represent,” he said. “Even though this is not an official office, this heinous act represents an assault on democracy and the political process, more so than it does on me as a person or a candidate.”
Multiple calls and emails to Grimm’s spokeswoman, Carol Danko, went unanswered after telling Roll Call on Monday that the staff was pleased with NYPD’s handling of the case so far. A spokesman with the NYPD, meanwhile, would only say there was still “an ongoing investigation,” declining to comment on the veracity of the comments made by the New York Times’ source.
But it’s a strange twist for Grimm, elected in 2010 as part of the Republican wave that ousted the Democrats from their majority in the House, along with the one-term incumbent Rep. Michael McMahon, the first Democrat to be elected in the red-leaning district in decades.
Grimm’s appeal was not just his party stamp but his unique set of credentials: He has been a U.S. marine, businessman, lawyer and, perhaps most relevant to this recent event, an undercover FBI agent on Wall Street.
Earlier this year, the FBI began investigating whether Grimm had attempted to extort thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from an influential New York rabbi.
Despite these new developments, a poll from Siena College released Tuesday shows Grimm with a 10 point lead over his opponent, Democrat Mark Murphy.