Convicted Michael Grimm close to new House run: 'I'm 90 percent of the way there'

Former Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) says he is close to making another run for his old Staten Island House seat to try to retake one of the nation’s most competitive congressional districts.

Grimm told Politico in an interview that he’s “90 percent of the way there to run.”

The former lawmaker served eight months in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud and went viral after threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony in Congress.

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Grimm ran for his old seat in New York's 11th District in 2018, but lost by 26 points to then-Rep. Dan Donovan (R) in the GOP primary.

Donovan went on to lose to Democrat Max RoseMax RoseHillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets Democratic lawmakers press for white supremacist groups to be labeled foreign terrorist organizations Bottom Line MORE in the November general election.

“They don’t want rising Republican stars in New York City,” Grimm told Politico.

Grimm cast himself as a victim of the same Justice Department that waged a “witch hunt” by investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.

“Who signed off on my indictment? James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGraham on Syria: Trump appears 'hell-bent' on repeating Obama's mistakes in Iraq Trump hits back at Graham over Syria criticism Comey says he has a 'fantasy' about deleting his Twitter account after end of Trump term MORE,” Grimm told Politico, referring to the former FBI director fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE. “It’s the same exact players and the same exact playbook.”

“The cloud is gone. It’s over; it’s in the past,” he added. “I’ve had a lot of colleagues call me and tell me they’d love to have me back.”

President Trump, who carried the district by about 10 points in 2016, endorsed Donovan over Grimm in 2018, though Grimm said he doesn’t hold any grudges over the decision.

"The president got involved to save an incumbent, which I respect," Grimm said. "I wouldn’t want to be in a position now where the president would jump in again." 

Rose’s seat, sitting in New York City’s only conservative-leaning borough, is one of Republicans’ top targets in the 2020 election cycle. 

"God bless him," Rose told Politico of Grimm’s near-decision to run. "He's just the gift that keeps on giving."