Morning Politics: ‘This Accusation Is Laughable’

Congressman Michael Grimm and his pup Sebastian. (Photo: Tom Williams/Getty)

Congressman Michael Grimm and his pup Sebastian. (Photo: Tom Williams/Getty)

Headline of the Day: “Fingerprinting, mugshot await Rep. Michael Grimm at court appearance Monday.”

Congressman Michael Grimm is expected to turn himself over to authorities today, but his Republican allies are sticking with him for now. John Antoniello, the Staten Island Republican chairman, told The New York Times that he recently spoke with Mr. Grimm and that the congressman is definitely running for re-election. “He’s got my complete support, and I’m sure the party’s also,” Mr. Antoniello said.

Another key Grimm supporter, former Borough President Guy Molinari, blamed Senator Chuck Schumer. “Schumer has a lot to do with it,” Mr. Molinari told the New York Post. “I know him well. I know what makes the beast tick. It’s a witch hunt — a political witch hunt.” A Schumer rep responded, “This accusation is laughable and yet another complete figment of Guy Molinari’s imagination.”

“While the investigation has focused on Grimm’s fundraising, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch is expected to announce an indictment centered on his restaurant business,” The Washington Post notes. “It is unclear whether federal prosecutors will eventually expand the charges to encompass Grimm’s campaign activities.”

The Staten Island Advance looked at how the indictment can be expected to play during Mr. Grimm’s re-election campaign: “We can already imagine the slew of ‘Michael Grimm: Indicted Congressman’ commercials and mailings that Recchia and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will roll out this fall. But we fully expect that Grimm won’t even break stride.”

There’s only one way to get Mr. Grimm off the ballot–assuming he even wishes to do so–election attorney Jerry Goldfeder writes in City & State: “In that New York law forbids a person from running for two public offices at the same time, Grimm could be nominated for another office. The tried and true method in our state for doing this would have the GOP nominate him for Supreme Court Justice.”

In other news, Congressman Charlie Rangel gave a wide-ranging interview with Capital New York, where he “suggested he has yet-to-be-announced support from the governor and the vice president in his re-election bid.” “[T]he vice president, all these things will come out when they tell me it should come out. And they want advance notice of how and when I’m going to use it,” Mr. Rangel said.

The New York Post reports that Mr. Rangel’s race “took an ugly turn Sunday when a Democratic Party official backing him filed a police report charging the campaign manager for challenger Adriano Espaillat harassed her.” Alleged harassment by Espailat supporters is also a central campaign theme of another contender, Yolanda Garcia.

And in case you missed it, former Council Speaker Christine Quinn made a rare pubic appearance Friday night and went on Real Time with Bill Maher: