10 Scandals Michael Grimm Would Rather Throw A Reporter Over A Balcony Than Discuss

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) made news Tuesday when he threatened a reporter that he would “throw [him] off this f—-ing balcony” and “break [him] in half” as punishment for asking him questions. Here’s a few of the uncomfortable issues Grimm might have been trying to avoid.

FULL DISCLOSURE: The author previously worked to defeat Grimm as an employee of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2011-2012.

1. That time he was under federal grand jury investigation for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

A federal grand jury has been investigating Grimm for fundraising improprieties allegedly connected to his 2010 campaign since at least July 2012.

2. That time his ex-girlfriend was arrested for allegedly funneling illegal contributions to his campaign.

Diana Durand, a Houston woman who reportedly had both a professional and romantic relationship with Grimm prior to his election, was arrested in January on charges that she used straw donors to give contributions to his campaign in excess of legal limits. She is scheduled to appear in federal court on January 30.

3. That time one of his top fundraisers was investigated by the FBI for embezzlement and convicted of visa fraud.

Ofer Biton, an Israeli national who helped Grimm raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2010 campaign (including some by allegedly illegal means), pleaded guilty to visa fraud charges in August 2013. He remains under investigation for possibly embezzling millions of dollars from celebritiy Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto.

4. That time his business partner was tied to the mob.

Federal prosecutors claimed that Bennett Orfaly, Grimm’s partner in an Upper East Side health food restaurant, had ties to a member of the Gambino organized crime family, Anthony (Fat Tony) Morelli. Orfaly has “maintained constant contact” with Morelli while the latter serves a 20-year sentence for racketeering and extortion, prosecutors said.

5. That time his other business partner was revealed to be a convicted felon.

Carlos Luquis, a friend from Grimm’s days as an FBI agent and his partner in the fuel company Austin Refuel Transport, was convicted for his role in a scheme to skim $2 million from Texans’ electric bills — a crime for which he served 18 months in prison. Grimm also partnered with Luquis and his wife on other ventures, both before and after his conviction.

6. That time he was personally accused of extorting a prominent rabbi.

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto accused Grimm of attempting to extort campaign contributions from his congregation. Grimm allegedly “mentioned that he was a former FBI agent and let the rabbi know, through his interpreter and staff, that he could help the congregation, or make life tougher for them, and that he was a good person to have as a friend, not an enemy,” a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News in March 2012.

7. That time he wrote a letter to a judge seeking leniency for a friend convicted of illegally bribing a congressman.

In 2008, Grimm wrote a letter to a federal judge requesting leniency for Thomas Kontogiannis, a friend who had been convicted of funneling $1 million in bribes to Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.). The judge ignored Grimm’s overtures and sentenced Kontogiannis to 8 years in prison.

8. That time he was sued for allegedly cheating his employees.

Two deliverymen sued Healthicious, Grimm and Orfaly’s health food restaurant, in December 2011. The former employees alleged Grimm and his partner paid them less than minimum wage, refused to compensate them for work beyond 40 hours per week, and often paid in cash to evade scrutiny.

9. That time he brandished a gun in a crowded nightclub during an altercation.

In July 1999, Grimm allegedly brandished a gun inside a nightclub during a confrontation with the husband of a woman he was seeing at the time. “I’m gonna f—-in’ kill him,” Grimm reportedly yelled. He later used his FBI authority to detain everyone in the club as he attempted to locate the man with which he had the altercation.

10. That time he reportedly engaged in sexual acts in a public restroom.

Eyewitnesses claimed they saw Grimm and a female companion sneak into a bathroom at an upscale Brooklyn wine bar for what the New York Post called “a suspected 17-minute sex romp” in October. “I think it was pretty f—-ing obvious what [w]as going on in there,” a source told the paper.

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