National GOP may cut off funds to Grimm

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The House GOP campaign arm will likely not support indicted lawmaker Michael Grimm in his reelection bid, according to sources familiar with the situation.

National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) suggested that Grimm would not receive financial support from the campaign arm.

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"Congressman Grimm needs to go prove his innocence to the jury and speak to his voters about his reelection," Walden told The Hill on Tuesday.

"We will continue to assess Congressman Grimm's re-election campaign while these legal proceedings are ongoing," said NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. 

"It could be like Dan Maffei's worst nightmare," a high-ranking NRCC official told The Hill, pointing out that without Grimm to back, they could now target Maffei, another vulnerable New York Democratic lawmaker.  

"We evaluate races and while the legal issues are before him we will continue to evaluate this one," the official explained noting that Grimm's race had been one that the NRCC intended to blitz with financial resources. 

One source noted that the Staten Island-based GOP lawmaker is "on the ballot in New York and cannot get off."

The filing deadline passed two weeks ago, and Republicans have little recourse to remove Grimm from the fall ballot, even if he does step down or is convicted. 

The two-term congressman was already facing a tough reelection contest against former New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia (D) in his swing district even before he was indicted Monday on 20 federal criminal counts, including mail fraud, perjury and employing illegal immigrants at a Manhattan restaurant he once owned.

At a press conference shortly after he entered a not guilty plea, Grimm decried the "political witch hunt" against him and said he wouldn't step down and would win in November.

But without national money and other lawmakers running away from the scandal-plagued pol, his task would get even harder. Grimm stepped down from his plum position on the Financial Services Committee, which has helped him in fundraising. Without that access, his campaign coffers will likely shrink even more, and he's already spent more than $50,000 just this year on legal fees. 

Not backing Grimm could have a silver lining for the NRCC, though. They'll have more cash freed up to help other vulnerable incumbents and promising challengers, and they won't have to spend in the pricey New York City media market. 

The New York Daily News first reported this news.

Alexandra Jaffe and Jessica Taylor contributed.

--This post was updated at 4:21 p.m. 

 

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