Rep. Michael Grimm got a lump of coal in his stocking this Christmas: He pleaded guilty to tax fraud in federal court this past week.
In the spring, the Republican, who represents Staten Island, originally pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of tax fraud connected to his co-ownership of a restaurant called — wait for it — Healthalicious. (That indictment in April earned Grimm his second worst week in Washington this year.)
The plea deal closes a disastrous 2014 for Grimm. Back in January, he made national and international headlines when, on the night of President Obama’s State of the Union address, he threatened a New York television reporter who was asking him about an unrelated campaign finance controversy.
“I’ll throw you off this f---ing balcony,” Grimm told NY1’s Mike Scotto. “You’re not man enough — you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
He later apologized. (And earned his first worst week in Washington.)
Despite Grimm’s checkered record, he cruised to reelection in November, riding the Republican wave sweeping the country. In an editorial headlined “Very Grimm choice,” the New York Daily News, which endorsed Grimm, described his opponent as “so dumb, ill-informed, evasive and inarticulate that voting for a thuggish Republican who could wind up in a prison jumpsuit starts to make rational sense.”
Still, Grimm’s political career seems unlikely to survive this guilty plea. While he insisted Tuesday that he would not resign, it’s hard to imagine the House GOP leadership allowing someone with his record to hang around for very long.
Michael Grimm, for watching your congressional career break in half, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Each week, Chris Cillizza awards the worst week in Washington to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. You can check out previous winners or e-mail Cillizza with candidates. You can also read more from Outlook and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.