Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidFranken emerges as liberal force in hearings GOP eyes new push to break up California court The DC bubble is strangling the DNC MORE (D-Nev.) on Friday pressed Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? Schumer under pressure to add Sanders to leadership team MORE (D-Fla.) to drop his Senate bid amid scrutiny surrounding his hedge fund, according to a statement provided to The Hill.
Reid challenged Grayson’s progressive credentials and criticized the Florida congressman’s “moral compass” based on the recent reports about his fund.
“Alan Grayson used his status as a congressman to unethically promote his Cayman Islands hedge funds, and he should drop out of the Senate race immediately. His actions aren't just disgraceful to the Democratic Party, they disgrace the halls of Congress,” he continued.
Grayson, a liberal firebrand, is running in a heated primary battle against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) for the swing seat vacated by Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioGOP, Dems hear different things from Trump Senate committee to vote Monday on Tillerson Tillerson met with top State official: report MORE (R-Fla.), who is running for president. The Democratic establishment has rallied around Murphy and have tried to push out Grayson to avoid a bruising primary.
"I never used my Congressional office to advance any business interest or for personal gain, and to say so is utterly deceitful. I resent the attack on my 'morality,' and I question the morality and judgment of any elected official, much less one in my own party, who would sink so low as to engage in such a smear," Grayson said.
Reid’s call for Grayson to drop out comes a day after The New York Times released a private email exchange where top Grayson aides called on the Florida congressman to close his hedge fund.
The fund, which was created in 2011 after Grayson lost reelection, has dogged his campaign. In late October, he met with an ethics investigator regarding accusations surrounding the account.
In emails from June 2015, Grayson’s former campaign manager, Doug Dodson, pressed him to close the account to avoid media scrutiny that could imperil his Senate campaign.
“I think I can speak for all of us here that if we could close it we can make this work for us not against us,” Dodson wrote in an email. “If we close it before this story get more traction I definitely think it becomes a footnote in the campaign.”
But Grayson refuted the advice, pushing back that closing the account could make him look guilty.
Dodson, along with two top advisers, departed from the campaign five months after the email correspondence.