Boehner: Grimm resignation 'honorable'

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFreedom Caucus members see openings in leadership Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups MORE (R-Ohio) said it was "honorable" for embattled Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) to resign from Congress after pleading guilty to felony tax evasion.

“Rep. Grimm made the honorable decision to step down from his seat in Congress," Boehner said in a statement released Tuesday morning. 

ADVERTISEMENT
"I know it was made with the best interests of his constituents and the institution in mind, and I appreciate his years of service in the House," Boehner added. 

Grimm, first elected in 2010, rejected calls to resign after pleading guilty last week to a single count of tax evasion, part of a 20-count federal indictment brought against him earlier this year. 

The lawmaker easily won reelection in November, despite bad press following his indictment and a threat he made to throw a local New York reporter off a Capitol balcony and break him in half early this year.

"As long as I'm able to serve, I'm going to serve," Grimm said last week.

However, Grimm changed course after reportedly meeting with Boehner on Monday, a Republican confirmed with The Hill. The meeting was first reported by the New York Daily News

Grimm announced late Monday night that, "after much thought and prayer," he would resign Jan. 5, a day before the new Congress convenes. He said in a statement that it was a "very difficult decision to step down."

"This decision is made with a heavy heart, as I have enjoyed a very special relationship and closeness with my constituents, whom I care about deeply," Grimm said.

"The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters. However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the Office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life," his statement added.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will declare a special election to fill the seat following Grimm's resignation.