12:23 pm Nov. 26, 2012
The House Ethics Committee released a statement concerning its inquiry into Rep. Michael Grimm's fund-raising practices today, asserting its jurisdiction over the matter, but announcing it would defer to the Department of Justice.
"The Department of Justice has asked the Committee to defer consideration of this matter and the Committee, following precedent, unanimously voted to defer consideration of this matter at this time," the committee said in a statement posted to its website.
The Department of Justice includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has reportedly interviewed at least four campaign workers in the case.
In January, the New York Times reported a number of alleged improprieties in Grimm's fund-raising before his 2010 race for Congress, including accepting donations above the legal limit from followers of Rabbi Yosef Pinto, including bags of cash.
Grimm has repeatedly denied any such violations occurred, and easily won re-election earlier this month.
The matter had been referred to the Ethics Committee by the Office of Government Ethics, which recommended dismissing the matter, in part because Grimm wasn't yet a member of Congress at the time of the alleged violations. The committee rejected that line of thinking, saying it had authority over elections that resulted in candidates becoming members of Congress.
A spokesperson for Grimm, who is attending a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo today to discuss federal disaster aid, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
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