NY Rep. Grimm: I'm 'one of the luckiest members of Congress'

 

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) is facing 20 criminal charges ranging from fraud to perjury, but he still maintains he is "one of the luckiest members of Congress."

In a radio interview Tuesday with Geraldo Rivera, Grimm said he is doing "rather well" when you put his situation in perspective, and he credited his Staten Island constituents for his upbeat mentality.

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"The support has been overwhelming," Grimm said. "I mean look, obviously, there have always been those who didn't like me from day one, and that's fine. A lot of those are your very far left-leaning ideologues. Putting that aside in all sincerity, I am one of the most — it is strange and it might sound bizarre — but I really am one of the luckiest members of Congress. And I say that because I have … salt of the earth people in my district."

Grimm continued to describe the charges against him as a politically motivated witch hunt. The congressman pleaded not guilty to a host of charges last month resulting from his alleged concealment of more than $1 million in revenue from a New York restaurant that he owned. 

The charges appeared to be the result of a separate investigation into allegations of campaign finance violations. The House Ethics Committee has held off its own review at the request of the Justice Department. 

Grimm admitted it is "scary" to have the federal government against you but said his service in the military taught him to handle the fear. He claimed the charges are the result of an overwhelmingly Democratic government in New York trying to silence him. 

"Right now in New York City, it is completely controlled by Democrats," he said. "And that is a dangerous thing because that also leads to abuse of power. It leads to an overblown, overreaching government that can do anything they want to anyone."

National Republicans have signaled they might not help him in his tough reelection this year, but he again predicted he would win in November. 

"I have a couple of things on my plate, but again, this is not the first time I've had a lot on my plate," he said. "I'm a multitasker, and I have a relentless work ethic. And I believe in the people that I serve."