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Posted at 10:46 a.m. on April 29, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner made his first public comments Tuesday on the indictment of Rep. Michael G. Grimm on fraud and tax evasion charges, telling reporters he thinks the New York Republican was right to resign his committee post.
“Listen,” the Ohio Republican said at his weekly press conference. “He has stepped down from his committee assignment last night. I think he made the right decision.”
Pressed further, Boehner stressed, “I think all members should be held to the highest ethical standard. Mr. Grimm is under indictment. He resigned from his committee assignment and I think he made the right decision.”
Grimm’s only committee assignment is on the House Financial Services panel, which one could argue has some conflict of interest for the two-term lawmaker. He was charged Monday with 20 counts of misconduct related to the health food restaurant he owned and operated between 2006 and 2010, including misreporting payroll information, filing false tax returns and withholding more than $1 million from the federal government.
Boehner would not answer whether he thought Grimm ought to run for re-election, even as Grimm has said he intends to fight the corruption charges and run for another term this November.
It could be a tough fight for Grimm: Just hours after the indictment was handed down, Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call to change its rating of the Staten Island and Brooklyn-based 11th District from Leans Republican to Leans Democrat.