Congressman Michael Grimm and his campaign made a big deal about an alleged break-in at his headquarters last weekend, calling the incident “politically motivated” and “an assault on democracy,” claiming hard drives in the office were erased and comparing the situation to the deadly shooting that left former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords critically wounded last year.
According to the Associated Press, the explanation for the smashes windows at Mr. Grimm’s office is actually something far more innocent.
“Police say a teenager has admitted vandalizing the campaign office of New York Congressman Michael Grimm,” the AP report said. “NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says the eighth grader told a school counselor that he and a friend had broken a window over the weekend at the office on Staten Island.”
The young boy is reportedly being charged as a juvenile with criminal mischief.
Along with the damage to the windows, Mr. Grimm and his campaign have additionally alleged files were tampered with and deleted, and furthermore, that someone installed the Linux operating system on one of their computers. Democrats have expressed skepticism of Mr. Grimm’s claims about the incident and, according to The New York Times, “a law enforcement official said on Monday night that police experts had examined the campaign’s computer systems and concluded that nothing had been erased or tampered with.”
We’ve reached out to both Mr. Grimm’s campaign and the NYPD and will update with any further response.
Update (4:02 p.m.): Mr. Grimm issued a statement responding to news of the eighth grader’s confession in which he expressed relief the attack was “not politically motivated,” admitted he may have jumped to conclusions and described an “ongoing” media “smear campaign” against him.
(Updated 2:06 p.m.)