Former Staten Island congressman Michael Grimm edges back onto the political stage, and for the first time is talking publicly about possibly running for his old seat, despite a felony fraud conviction. NY1's Natalie Duddridge filed the following report on his exclusive interview with NY1.
A federal tax fraud conviction appeared to end Michael Grimm's political career nearly three years ago.
But after resigning his seat and serving seven months in prison, Grimm now admits he is eying a run for Congress again.
"I haven't personally made a decision yet, but, honestly, I'm looking at it," Grimm told NY1's Anthony Pascale.
The remark, in an interview with NY1, represents the first time Grimm acknowledged interest in seeking his old job.
He coupled it with a blistering critique of the fellow Republican who replaced him on the House of Representatives: former Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.
"I don't think he's doing well at all as a Republican; I think he's doing a great job as a liberal Democrat. Whether it's going against the president on the health-care vote; whether it's going against the president on the Sanctuary City vote; whether it's all his anti-Second Amendment bills," Grimm said. "These are all Democrat positions and he's been down the line on those positions, and that's a problem."
It was the latest in a series of steps by Grimm toward the political arena. Two weeks ago, he created a new Twitter account, posting opinions and politician-style photos.
He has also been offering himself up to the media to talk about how officials in Houston should respond to Hurricane Harvey.
When told about Grimm's comments, Donovan, who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn in Congress, appeared ready to rumble.
"Anybody who does that will have to explain to the public about their transgressions, and that will be up to the public whether they want someone who is a convicted felon representing them, or someone who has been a prosecutor for 20 years and has an outstanding record as a sitting congressman for these years," Donovan said.
Previewing the case he would make to voters, Grimm called himself the victim of a politically-motivated witch hunt by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
"People forget, they want to say, 'Oh, tax fraud.' It was three delivery boys and a kitchen worker off the books, which has always been a civil matter," Grimm said to NY1. "I should've received a civil fine. But I'm not bitter and angry. Politics corrupted the justice system."
As for a timeline when Grimm will make a decision? He said that answer will come "fairly soon."