Grimm indictment is pre-election plot by Democrats: GOP
By Michael Gartland and Kevin Fasick
April 27, 2014 | 3:04am
It’s all a Democratic plot.
So say bitter Republican and Conservative leaders of the Justice Department’s plan to slam Rep. Michael Grimm with an indictment, to be unsealed Monday.
Guy Molinari, a former Staten Island congressman and one of Grimm’s key advisers, even pinned the conspiracy on Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.
“Schumer has a lot to do with it,” said Molinari, also a former state assemblyman and former Staten Island borough president. “I’ve worked with him in the Assembly, and I’ve worked with him in Congress. I know him well. I know what makes the beast tick. It’s a witch hunt — a political witch hunt.”
The 85-year-old firebrand Republican declined to offer specifics on why he thinks Schumer is behind Grimm’s legal woes.
“This accusation is laughable and yet another complete figment of Guy Molinari’s imagination,” said Schumer spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.
But other GOP and Conservative leaders insisted the timing of the indictment — coming after the April 14 deadline passed for Grimm to take himself off the ballot — is “fishy,” essentially preventing them from finding a more viable candidate.
Grimm, 44, in his second term representing Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, is being challenged by Democratic former City Councilman Domenic Recchia in November.
The expected indictment follows a two-year investigation of his business dealings and campaign fund-raising. Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch will handle the charges against the former FBI agent and Marine.
Sources told the Post Saturday that Brooklyn accountant Wayne Muratore, who handled the books for Grimm’s eatery and his 2010 campaign, was quizzed by the Feds. He did not return messages or answer his door yesterday.
State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long said the fact that the feds waited until after ballot deadlines to indict “clearly speaks to some political shenanigans.”
“The federal government did this right after the final days of the political calendar,” said Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar. “It’s politically motivated.”
Grimm has been scrutinized for more than $500,000 in campaign contributions he raised with the help of an Israeli citizen, Ofer Biton. But a source said the charges have to do with Grimm’s “shady restaurant dealings.”
Grimm was a partner in an Upper East Side restaurant called Healthalicious with Bennett Orfaly, who had ties to the Gambino crime family.
Grimm met with lawyers and Staten Island GOP chairman John Antoniello Saturday, but ducked reporters.