CREW Files Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Grimm for Using House Floor Video in Fundraising Email
Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to investigate whether Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) violated House ethics rules by using the broadcast of a floor speech in a fundraising email.
In a May 24, 2012 email to supporters, Rep. Grimm included a link to a YouTube video of his May 17th floor speech regarding a proposed amendment to the 2013 National Defense Reauthorization Act to save a local unit of the National Guard. Notably, the email also includes a link allowing viewers to donate to Rep. Grimm’s campaign committee.
“Rep. Grimm clearly used House floor proceedings to bolster his congressional campaign,” stated CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “This fits into the congressman’s pattern of ignoring inconvenient rules to gain a political advantage. Last election cycle, he repeatedly violated federal law by using FBI and U.S. Marine Corps imagery to promote his candidacy. As a congressman – much less a former FBI agent – Rep. Grimm should know the rules apply equally to everyone.”
According to House rules, “broadcast coverage and recordings of House floor proceedings may not be used for any political purpose.” Additionally, “radio and television tapes and film of any coverage of House Committee proceedings may not be used, or made available for use, as partisan political campaign material to promote or oppose the candidacy of any person for public office.” Rep. Grimm’s May 24th email, following on the heels of his inappropriate use of FBI and Marine Corps insignia in his last campaign, demonstrates a disturbing pattern of violating House rules and federal law for personal, partisan political gain.
This past February, CREW also asked the OCE to investigate Rep. Grimm in light of reports he may have exchanged illegal campaign contributions for a promise to assist a prominent fundraiser in procuring a green card.
“For a freshman member of Congress, Rep. Grimm already has quite the rap sheet,” continued Sloan. “How many more laws does Rep. Grimm need to break before he receives anything more than a slap on the wrist from House leadership and federal authorities? It’s no wonder he was named one of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress in 2011.”