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Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Michael Grimm

Nov 26, 2012
Press Release

 Pursuant to Committee Rule 7(g), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee
on Ethics (Committee) determined on November 26, 2012, to release the following statement:

On June 29, 2012, the Committee received a referral from the Office of Congressional
Ethics (OCE) regarding whether Representative Michael Grimm may have violated federal
campaign finance laws by soliciting and accepting prohibited campaign contributions, caused
false information to be included in campaign finance reports, and improperly sought assistance
from a foreign national in soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for offering to use his
official position to assist that individual in obtaining a green card. Pursuant to House Rule XI,
clause 3(b )(8)(A) and Committee Rules 17 A(b)(1 )(A), 17 A( d), and 17 AU), the Committee
unanimously voted on July 31 , 2012, to extend the Committee's review of the matter until
November 26, 2012.

OCE's referral of this matter recommended dismissal because it could not establish with
a sufficient certainty that a violation occurred after Representative Grimm became a Member of
Congress. However, in prior Congresses, the Committee has held that it may investigate conduct
that violated laws, regulations, or standards of conduct, which occurred during an initial
campaign for the House of Representatives. Based on this precedent, notwithstanding OCE's
view, on November 15, 2012, the Committee unanimously voted to continue to assert
jurisdiction over matters relating to a successful campaign for election to the House of
Representatives. Accordingly, the Committee authorized an inquiry into these matters pursuant
to Committee Rule 18(a).

The Department of Justice has asked the Committee to defer consideration of this matter
and the Committee, following precedent, unanimously voted to defer consideration of this matter
at this time. At least annually, the Committee will make a public statement if it continues to
defer taking action on the matter. The Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting further
review of a referral, and any mandatory disclosure of such further review, does not itself indicate
that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.