Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters MORE (D-Nev.) on Friday pressed Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonDeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race Florida Rep. Val Demings officially enters Senate race against Rubio Demings raises Democrats' hopes in uphill fight to defeat Rubio 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.
“These deeply troubling allegations should disqualify anyone from a seat in the U.S. Senate,” Reid said in a statement, which was first reported by The Associated Press.
“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 Antonio RubioPut partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine 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.