Congressman Michael Grimm on Thursday refuted reports that he was removed as a Romney delegate because of an ongoing FBI probe and alleged campaign fundraising improprieties.
Speaking on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show from the Republican National Convention, the Congressman, who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, said he already had floor privileges and asked Borough President Guy Molinari to give the delegate spot to someone who didn’t have access.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with anything else,” Grimm said. “Again, that’s smoke screens for people trying to sully my reputation any way they can.”
Regardless, he said, "I’m down here at the convention having a great time."
Grimm said he was "very excited" to see GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan "hit the ball out of the park" with his speech Wednesday evening.
The FBI is investigating money donated to Grimm’s campaign by followers of a rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto. Earlier this month, an Israeli national who helped raise money for Grimm's 2010 campaign was arrested on immigration fraud charges.
Grimm, a former FBI agent, has maintained he has complied with federal campaign finance laws.
“This is a complete fallacy. It isn’t true,” he said. “You don't spend your entire life like I did from the Marines ... spending almost a dozen years as a special agent of the FBI ... You don’t throw all that away to do something as stupid as those allegations.”