Capitol Police Question Michael Scotto, Reporter Threatened by Grimm
Posted at 9:37 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2014
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Capitol Police have questioned the NY1 reporter who Rep. Michael G. Grimm threatened to throw off a Rotunda balcony during a State of the Union outburst.
The talks are part of a probe into what happened when Grimm grumbled at the credentialed TV reporter, saying he would break the journalist in half “like a boy,” according to the station.
NY1 reports that the department contacted reporter Michael Scotto on Thursday, one day after the New York Republican issued an apology for the threat, to ask about the incident. Scotto said he did not want to press criminal charges.
If law enforcement believes a crime has been committed, Grimm could still face charges.
The congressman’s office told CQ Roll Call that Grimm has not been contacted by Capitol Police or the House sergeant-at-arms, the chamber’s highest law enforcement officer. Chief of Staff Chris Berardini said in an email that Grimm “is working day and night to get flood insurance reform for his constituents and plans to having lunch with Mr. Scotto very soon.”
Capitol Police spokesman Shennell Antrobus confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the department did contact Scotto for questioning following Tuesday’s incident.
“Yes, we did speak to the reporter,” Antrobus said. “We have no complaint, so we’re not going to pursue anything further.”
He said that the police had done their “due diligence” in examining the threat and now consider the matter closed.
The department had no public comment when asked if it had spoken with Grimm about the incident.
Don Kellaher, the House deputy sergeant-at-arms, said his office had no comment on the incident.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said he could “neither confirm or deny” an investigation into the incident. Spokesman Bill Miller referred questions to the Capitol Police.
During the combative exchange, recorded on camera, Grimm repeatedly threatened the reporter after Scotto asked about the ongoing federal investigation Grimm is facing for alleged campaign finance fraud.
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony,” Grimm said. “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
After initially saying Scotto took a “disrespectful and cheap shot” at him by tacking on the question at the end of an interview, Grimm eventually apologized and invited Scotto out to lunch.
The Radio-Television Correspondents Association, an organization representing more than 3,600 broadcast journalists who report on Congress, is investigating the incident and watchdog groups have called for a congressional ethics probe.