FBI Agents Arrest Rep. Michael Grimm’s Straw Donor Ex-Girlfriend
The Republican congressman from Staten Island is often referred to in the blogosphere by the pseudo-gangland moniker “Mikey Suits.” This latest news should surprise nobody familiar with his history of ethically questionable behavior:
FBI agents arrested the reported ex-girlfriend of New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm on Friday in Texas, charging her with making illegal campaign contributions through straw donors.
The FBI says that Diana Durand, described in an agent’s deposition as a “personal friend” of Grimm, had already maxed out her personal campaign donation limit when she asked other donors to send over $10,000 in additional donations to Grimm’s campaign. The FBI’s deposition laying out the charges against Durand, dated August 2013, doesn’t name Grimm. But after her arrest Friday, the deposition was unsealed, and Grimm’s lawyer issued a statement in which he confirmed that Grimm is the “Candidate A” referred to in the document.
The lawyer, William McGinley of Patton Boggs LLP, also pointed out that the complaint doesn’t allege any wrongdoing on Grimm’s part.
“We are saddened that the government took the extraordinary step of arresting a single mother on these allegations, and hope the matter will be resolved quickly,” McGinley said, according to The New York Times.
While the FBI reportedly got two acquaintances to flip on Durand, she also allegedly made the mistake of describing the donation scheme in an email, creating a permanent record of her purported crime. The FBI claims she then lied to the agency about her actions, triggering an additional charge.
The FBI interviewed “Donor A,” who gave $4,800 to Grimm’s campaign with the expectation that Durand would rent out a vacation property owned by “Donor A,” but said Durand never followed through. She did follow through with “Straw Donor #1,” the FBI reported, issuing him or her a check for the exact amount of the donation to Grimm’s campaign. She also emailed that donor and another straw donor, thanking them for “helping me out” with the campaign donations.
But wait! There’s more…
“Straw Donor #2” also told the FBI that Durand gave him or her money to make a donation to another unnamed candidate during the 2010 campaign cycle.
Another unnamed candidate? Inquiring minds demand to know!