Convicted Ex-Congressman Urges Trump to ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ Amid Spreading Scandal

Congressman Michael Grimm. Will Bredderman/Observer

Former Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm, forced to abdicate his seat in 2015 after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion, warned that Democrats are deploying the same “play book” against embattled President Donald Trump that the lawmaker alleges they used against him—and urged U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions to strike back by prosecuting leakers and “reopening the Hillary Clinton matter.”

In a column circulated to media outlets, Grimm suggested that a conspiracy to topple Trump is the true cause of the expanding scandal around the unceremonious sacking of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey amid a probe into communications between the president’s campaign and agents of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. Grimm, a former FBI agent brought down by an FBI probe, asserted that the commander-in-chief faces a coordinated mutiny by the Democrats, the federal bureaucracy and the mass media.

“The president has two problems that result in a massive target on his back: he is trying to change business as usual which neither side of the isle [sic] is keen to do and; his agenda if even partially implemented, will almost certainly ensure a second term,” the Republican wrote. “The Democrats would rather burn down the White House than accept that fate.”

The controversy over possible Trump campaign collusion in the Kremlin’s cyber-warfare against Clinton escalated when the New York Times reported that Comey had made notes recollecting a conversation in which Trump urged him to drop a probe into Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn, a Trump campaign aide and his original national security advisor, resigned in disgrace in February after news broke he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about illegal pre-inauguration discussions he had held with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Grimm was the subject of numerous reports and allegations of improper fundraising practices from the time he unseated Democratic Congressman Michael McMahon (now the Staten Island district attorney) in 2008. But it was his off-the-books operation of a health food franchise—which included the hiring of undocumented immigrants—prior to holding office that resulted in then U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch hitting him with a 20-count federal indictment in 2014.

The disgraced pol claimed in his column that the probe led by newly-appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, who headed the FBI during part of Grimm’s tenure with the agency, would result in nothing but a witch hunt.

“The investigation will become a fishing expedition, which is against DOJ policy requiring a very narrow scope. Democrats will push for the prosecutor to delve into everything to find whatever could stick, regardless of how tenuous or far from the original allegations,” Grimm wrote, comparing it to his own downfall. “Once they find the smallest of infractions, like an obscure tax violation, they will unify and then the end will justify the means.”

The ex-congressman lashed out at his own party for refusing to “circle the wagons like the Democrats,” and argued he should use the power of his office to attack the opposite party.

“President Trump needs to fight fire with fire,” Grimm said. “He needs to go it alone, and be offensive.”

Specifically, Grimm asserted Sessions must hunt down those in government responsible for sharing compromising information with the press, and open an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Trump had promised during the campaign he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his Democratic opponent, but backed away from the notion as president-elect.

Grimm alluded to a popular Republican claim that Clinton used her position as Secretary of State granted access to American nuclear material deposits to a Russian-owned mining company in exchange for donations to her husband’s foundation from Kremlin-linked oligarchs. However, fact-checkers have found that the company, Uranium One, was not allowed to export the material from the country and that Clinton herself played little or no role in authorizing the arrangement.

Grimm also recalled that Lynch, as U.S. Attorney General, met privately with ex-President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona while the FBI was looking into the foundation. He urged the administration to seek criminal redress against those who have shared classified information.

“The unmasking investigation should be pushed to full throttle, and a thorough review of everything concerning Loretta Lynch should be front and center,” he said. “‘The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming’ is what every Democrat and liberal cable show are broadcasting, so a copious and public review of the Uranium One deal should be initiated at once.”

“Lastly, aggressively pursuing the leaks and prosecuting those responsible needs to be a top priority; Trump cannot survive if the White House has enemies within,” he continued.

In office, Grimm gained a reputation for his erratic and aggressive behavior—which included menacing a colleague with a butter knife and threatening to hurl NY1 reporter Michael Scotto from the Capitol rotunda—and his moderate, bipartisan voting record. He won re-election in 2014 despite facing a 20-count federal indictment, and rumors have swirled he might run for Staten Island Borough President James Oddo’s seat should the incumbent step down to take a judgeship.

Grimm served eight months in prison for his crime, and still faces a half-million dollar tax lien from the State of New York. Current Congressman Daniel Donovan, another Republican, won a special election in 2015 for his seat.

Read the release in its unedited entirety below:

The Democrats smell blood in the water and they are excellent at closing. Now more than ever, the bold leadership of President Trump is needed, but an adjustment to his style may very well be required. While I am not so arrogant to presume to give the President of the United States advice, my own observations of the current situation, along with my personal experience with the familiar play book being used right now may be offer some useful insight.

Hopefully the White House will take a step back, slow down their pace, fully digesting the gravity of what is happening. The President is under heavy attack with every element of opposition power against him, and from every angle: the media, the Democrats, Hollywood, the Establishment and the deeply rooted bureaucrats in every agency that actually regulates the entire country. However, after a deep breath and employing a little introspection, then accepting that they must right their ship, the White House needs to deploy every tool and arsenal at its disposal to go on offense.

This shouldn’t be a surprise though, because if we learned anything from the campaign and first 100 days of Trump’s Presidency, it’s that Washington doesn’t like change. Too many people in powerful positions like the gig they have and don’t want anything disrupted. Combine this with the Trump agenda, of which the President is actually following through.

Thus, the President has two problems that result in a massive target on his back: He is trying to change business as usual which neither side of the isle is keen to do and; his agenda if even partially implemented, will almost certainly ensure a second term, and the Democrats would rather burn down the White House than accept that fate.

Therefore, they have employed the “play book” that they regularly use on opponents. They use the media to create scandal after scandal, even where there really isn’t one. Then they call for investigations; since they do not have Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch to pull the strings, they call for a special prosecutor. The investigation will become a fishing expedition, which is against DOJ policy requiring a very narrow scope. Democrats will push for the prosecutor to delve into everything to find whatever could stick, regardless of how tenuous or far from the original allegations. Once they find the smallest of infractions, like an obscure tax violation, they will unify and then the end will justify the means. It will be the excuse for all the false stories/scandals and the original allegations become irrelevant.

President Trump needs to fight fire with fire. Republicans do not unify or circle the wagons like the Democrats do, so he needs to go it alone, and be offensive. Since his opposition are so concerned with the handling of classified information, and the statute of limitations has not yet run, the Attorney General should consider reopening the Hillary Clinton matter. The unmasking investigation should be pushed to full throttle, and a thorough review of everything concerning Loretta Lynch should be front and center to even include her private meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac, and her refusal to empanel a grand jury to investigate the e-mail issue or the Clinton Foundation.

The Russians are coming the Russians are coming is what every Democrat and liberal cable show are broadcasting, so a copious and public review of the Uranium One deal should be initiated at once. Lastly, aggressively pursuing the leaks and prosecuting those responsible needs to be a top priority; Trump cannot survive if the White House has enemies within.

The President can settle things down inside the White House and show he has a steady hand on the rudder in tumultuous waters—which he is surely in.