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: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Democratic lawmaker introduces bill to tackle online terrorist activity Hillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing 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 Comey'Project Guardian' is the effective gun law change we need Saagar Enjeti: Hillary Clinton still blames her failures on Bernie Sanders The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley MORE,” Grimm told Politico, referring to the former FBI director fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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."