A week after entering a guilty plea on federal tax evasion charges and insisting that he would continue to serve as long as he was able to do so, Representative Michael Grimm from New York has switched directions, and has now issued a statement saying that he will resign from Congress effective January 5, the day before the new Congress is sworn in. The NY Daily News initially broke the story.
Grimm pleaded guilty last week to aiding in filing a false tax return, according to the New York Times. Grimm is the same Congressman who threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony earlier this year, according to Gawker.
Both Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, and the Democratic National Committee, had called on Grimm to resign after pleading guilty. Rep. John Boener, Majority Leader in the House, had kept silent on Grimm until Tuesday; some had believed that he intended to speak to Grimm first. This morning, Boener told the New York Times
Rep. Michael Grimm made the right decision by resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges.
The complete text of Grimm’s resignation from Congress appeared on Twitter late Monday night.
Here is Michael Grimm’s full statement announcing his resignation pic.twitter.com/BbsuprkOrK
— Colin Campbell (@BKcolin) December 30, 2014
The response was rapid, and very critical.
@BKcolin @AngieinWAState Zero mention of why. No remorse, guilt, self-awareness. No apology. No responsibility taken.
— Jason Watkins (@JPantsdotcom) December 30, 2014
@BKcolin Why wait until Jan 5th? Does he think he’ll still be eligible for a pension & benefits as a felon?
— StarsHollowGzt (@starshollowgzt) December 30, 2014
— Berto (@DaTruthIzin) December 30, 2014
A special election will be held after Grimm’s resignation from Congress. Many names have been floated in the early hours of reporting as to potential contenders for the seat. Jill Jorgenson at the New York Observer pointed to Assemblyman Mike Cusick as the Democratic frontrunner, and District Attorney Daniel Donovan as the likely Republican runner. Unlike in a regular election, each party will appoint a runner for the election, instead of holding a primary. Donovan recently gained notoriety through the U.S. after a grand jury chose not to indict a police officer after the death of Eric Garner.
The Washington Post reported, however, that it would be up to Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, whether or not a special election would be held.
What do you think about Grimm’s decision to resign from Congress?