To recap, Republican Rep. Mike Grimm of Staten Island pleads guilty to felony tax evasion, pulls a Trey Radel and refuses to resign.
House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel said Boehner “won’t have any announcements until the Speaker discusses the matter with Mr. Grimm.”
Members of Congress do not automatically forfeit their office upon conviction of a felony.
It’s unclear whether Grimm will resign. At an Oct. 16 debate, when asked by the moderator whether he would resign if found guilty, Grimm said, “If I was not able to serve then, of course, I would step aside.”
Something something Anthony Weiner’s penis. Oh, and Grimm won in November under 20 counts of indictment, and won by 13 points.
Kinda doubt there’s going to be a groundswell back home to kick the guy out of office.
He’ll go eventually, like Radel. But screw him for thinking he might be able to stay on.
If a sitting member of Congress is sentenced to jail past the end of his current term, is he expected to resign?
@Amir Khalid: Only if they’re a Democrat.
I’ve never been to Staten Island, but I used to live in the NYC metro area. From everything I know, Staten Island is full of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging racist, homophobe white crackers of the first order. Plus it’s a horrible place to visit. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good word about the place.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@? Martin: True dat. Grimm pings my sociopath radar, even in 2D.
Don’t assume he’s going to jail (although he should). Depending on the amount of tax he evaded, the offense level under the sentencing guidelines could be low enough that he would be eligible for probation and a fine.
@Amir Khalid: We just had something similar down here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A sitting Delegate from around Richmond has, more or less, pled guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor for fooling around with a 17 year old. At first he said he wouldn’t resign, and was given a work release sentence allowing him to sit as a Delegate and sleep in prison. There was a predictable outcry, he submitted his resignation and immediately announced he’d run for the same seat. It’s a safe D district so the chances were that he’d win, but last night they had a caucus and picked a different Dem as the candidate. Morrissey could still run as a independent. BTW, he’s a Democrat, but the outcry came from both parties after he said he wouldn’t resign.
Also, he submitted an Alford plea, which says he’s not pleading guilty but admits the state had enough evidence to convict. I don’t understand it either so don’t ask.
Grimm is the one who threatened to throw a reporter off of a balcony a year or so ago, I think. All-around nice guy, you see…
Mandolin Brothers, one of the great acoustic-instrument stores on this planet, is on Staten Island. But that’s pretty much it.
Tone in DC
Zandar is on fire these last few days.
These wingers are utterly and pathologically shameless. And insane, for good measure.
Tree With Water
@shortstop: You’re probably right. It amounts to how brazenly shameless Grimm in fact is. It would be high drama (or maybe low farce) if he stuck, wouldn’t it? I don’t expect the incoming House censure him, much less expel him, under any circumstance. That scenario would also serve to open a few more eyes, to better draw a bead on the criminal bent of the party of rule or ruin.
@Amir Khalid: NYT story: “If he does plead guilty, he will most likely face 24 to 30 months in prison when he is sentenced by Judge Pamela K. Chen of United States District Court. His lawyers can also seek a lesser sentence, including one with no jail time.”
He pled guilty to one of 20 counts expressly to avoid jail. He will probably succeed, which is really too bad.
Related: I just got another fundraising email from Jim Webb. He refers me to an editorial in today’s NYTimes that will tell me why Webb is “needed” in 2016, but I won’t read it.
Staten Island is the Texas of New York.
Without the BBQ.
@Tree With Water: Censure!? Tax evasion is slated to be a key part of the 2016 Republican platform. They consider resisting this unjust tyranny to be their patriotic duty as free holders of free liberty and freedom in this country for free men.
Thunderbolts and lightning! Very, very frightening to me
Collectively, Democrats have a sense of shame and Republicans don’t. It’s as simple as that.
We will not let you go!
Not exactly. An Alford plea is when I say I am innocent but I agree that the prosecutor likely could convince a judge or jury otherwise beyond reasonable doubt.
i have a comment stuck in moderation. I think it’s because I quoted some of the naughty words Zandar used.
Can we agree that there shall be no posts that contain the name “Anthony Weiner” and any string of letters spelling “swell”? kthxbai
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): he’s the kind of guy who think he deserves a spot on the Number Nine despite all his bad deeds.
Maybe Glottis can be summoned to toss him off a balcony
In most criminal tax cases, the defense strategy is to avoid pleading guilty to evasion under 26 U.S.C. 7201 if possible, because a guilty plea to evasion has collateral estoppel effect on the issue of fraud in subsequent civil litigation (the civil fraud penalty is equal to 75 percent of the underpayment of tax). Grimm was allowed to plead to assisting in the preparation of a false return, under 26 U.S.C. 7206(2), which doesn’t have the same collateral estoppel effect. So even if he goes to prison, he might have a few dollars left when he gets out.
@Cervantes: I bow to your superior knowlege, IANAL. It still doesn’t make sense to me though. I mean the logic behind an Alford plea.
I’m proclaiming my innocence and my inability to convince a judge or jury of it.
You can imagine such a state of mind and reasons for it, too, yes?
lemme go fix that.
You probably referred to Weiner’s weiner by its proper anatomical name.
Tree With Water
@shortstop: That sounds about right (picture Apu saying to Jerry Seinfeld: “You see everything”).
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Mr. Bigglesworth?
@Cervantes: How does that differ from a “no lo contendre”(sp)? I’d always heard that one as a way to admit that you don’t contest the facts presented, but do not admit guilt.
Mike in NC
If Grimm merely gets fined, he’ll just throw a fundraiser and net a mountain of cash.
Tree With Water
@Cervantes: I was introduced to the legal term ‘nolo contendere’ courtesy of Spiro Agnew. It’s easy for a citizen to learn a bit about the laws, simply by observing the career arcs of certain politicians.
@burnspbesq: Well that is a level of detail I love about this place. Not sure what you just said but happy somebody here is so much smarter than me on this topic.
@burnspbesq: I’m not too concerned. If I’ve learned anything from speaking with both ROs and CI folks, he’ll do something equally stupid again.
Repubicans NEVER resign. Or, at least, RARELY. See Vitter, Craig et al.
Jack the Second
Democrats are corrupt individually, Republicans are corrupt collectively.
@Seanly: Much to my chagrin, I grew up there. It is a cesspool and has not gotten any better in the many decades since I was a child. When I was a kid, there were people who boasted about never going into “The City”. There are glimmers of hope that, as NYC gets more expensive, Staten Island will become more liberal due to cheaper housing but, unless transportation gets better, I’m not counting on that.
GOP “ethics”. Gotta hate ’em.
@Bunter: Wow! Hounds, Manhattan and Dorothy Sayers. These are a few of my most favoritest things.
@Tree With Water:
Given the Republican attitude toward taxes, being a convicted tax dodger is more likely to get him promoted to a leadership position.
@Bunter: It is kind of a thing in many areas. I used to live in DC. Capital Hill. I worked in Northern Virginia. Tyson Corner. Many if not most of my coworkers would not come to my house. Not even come into the city. I grew up in small town rural America. I moved to a large town on purpose. I wanted to live there. Why would you want to live in a large metro area and not experience the city? I can’t stress this enough, people I worked with had not been to the city for decades.
So true. I’ve heard stories about people who’ve gotten hit for 100 percent penalty three times.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Yatsuno: Let it be so. He creeps me out, which is not that easy to do, given my criminal law days.
I love it. If you’re an attorney, and you are convicted of a felony (either via plea or jury trial), then you are AUTOMATICALLY disbarred in NYS. Now, I’m NOT saying this douche is an attorney (I don’t think he is). I’m just noting that it’s so heartwarming to see that one can be a felon and yet not be stripped of one’s seat as a Congressperson. Talk about setting the bar a tad low! One wonders what level of criminality/depravity it would take to so embarrass that Lesser of August Bodies that they would need to show this douche a quick exit … stage left (or toss him off a balcony).
Why should he resign? In a few months this will be the new normal and he’ll be a hero for protecting his money from the ebil gubbermint.
Because that’s where the jobs are. There are lots of people who want to live in small-town America but can’t because there aren’t enough jobs there. Instead, they move into suburbs that provide access to the employment opportunities of the city without subjecting their residents to the horrors of being exposed to Those People.
@burnspbesq: There really needs to be a special circumstances policy for people that are in public positions of power – lawmakers, judges, etc. Being a public employee, seeing another one cheating the system they represent makes me want to set them on fire.
@Roger Moore: You know I got that when I read what I said. Very true statement.
He does have a law degree.
He is an attorney. Graduated magna cum fucking laude from New York Law School in 2002.
@Roger Moore: This.
I’ve lived in NYC, in towns so small the nearest movie theater was a 45 minute drive, in large suburbs, etc. It can be really difficult to align your personality to the economic reality of your life and career. I work around a cohort of people that had quite little say in where they would live because their occupation is so heavily supply constrained that you take the first decent job that comes along and pretty much stay in it for life. There are no small-town brain surgeons. You’re going to work in a city whether you like it or not, or else you won’t be a brain surgeon.
@Seanly: i have a list of places that i try to avoid because the nicest thing that can be said about them is “we are now leaving…” i’ve never been to staten island, but it always struck me as the type of place that would be on that list.
Gin & Tonic
@Lavocat: James Traficant (D-OH) was expelled after being convicted of several felonies, including tax evasion. Michael Myers (D-PA) was expelled after being videotaped taking bribes in the Abscam case, and was later convicted of bribery.
@burnspbesq: Just discussed a case with the RO manager here in my office. She was the first one to investigate him in 1994 & he’s back with a levy on him for the third time. Slow learner that one. I don’t think he’s left their purview even after getting into compliance.
@? Martin: I am a military brat. Used to living a lot of places. I’ve learned to living many places. Picking up and moving.
@Shana: Normally a guilty plea waives your right to an appeal. With an Alford plea, one can still appeal.
If DOJ sues to reduce the assessment to judgment before the 10-year collection statute expires, you may never get out of the system unless you hit the lottery.
Which is why the US Attorneys’ Manual says that Alford pleas are only accepted in exceptional circumstances, and require the concurrence of the head of the subject matter area at Main Justice (which in this case would be the AAG in charge of the Tax Division).
@Shana: Most criminal cases these days end in some sort of plea bargain rather than an actual trial, because prosecutors have a lot of discretion to threaten worse sentences if defendants press on. An Alford plea is a way of taking a plea-bargain deal while theoretically not confessing guilt. Whether you can use it or not depends on the jurisdiction.
@burnspbesq: I just know that once an RO is on your case your life is basically over until the RO is happy. And the ROs here are NEVER happy, especially with frequent fliers.
My wife bought some solid yellow aquilegia canadensis (eastern red columbine) plants somewhere on Staten Island.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Bill Arnold: That’s a good thing. Though solid yellow aquilegia can be found in other places. In case she wants more than she can get by dividing hers.
@burnspbesq: Hence creepy Grimm’s guilty plea. I cannot imagine any AAG authorizing an Alford for a former FBI agent. As I’m confident you and Omnes cannot.
It’s possible to imagine a range of cases where an Alford plea makes sense on judicial-economy grounds. If there is a questionable ruling denying a motion to suppress, and the evidence at issue is key (a pretty typical situation in drug cases) a trial seems to be a big waste of time. Take the Alford plea, and allow the appeal to be expedited. If the trial judge’s ruling on the motion to suppress is affirmed, as the prosecutor you’re in the same place you would be if there had been a conviction at trial, and if the ruling is reversed, you’re probably going to dismiss anyway.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
Not just creepy ex-FBI agents. I can’t remember ever hearing about Tax Division signing off on an Alford plea, and certainly not an Alford plea on a 7201 count. There’s no way they would ever countenance IRS Chief Counsel having to relitigate the issue of fraudulent intent in a subsequent Tax Court case. The shitstorm on Tenth Street (which runs between IRS HQ and Main Justice) if Tax Division ever did that would be mind-boggling.
It’s not hard to understand how ROs get to be that way. Being lied to for 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year has to change your outlook on life.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I figured it was either that or Weiner.
In NY state, convicted felons are disfranchised only while in prison or on parole. If Grimm just gets fines and probation, he’s still eligible to vote and therefore eligible to be reelected. What a world.
@Seanly: the ride on the ferry is fun. I’ve never seen a reason to get off on Staten Island, but it is fun. When you’re drunk, stoned and about 20.
@Yatsuno: Slow learner, convinced it’ll come down differently next time, arrogant/entitled beyond belief, all of the above? I am fascinated by people like this and always want to get into their heads to see what’s going on in there.
@Tommy: I’ve lived in Northern Virginia for 22 years, having moved from Chicago. Let me say, we live in a well off part of Fairfax County, my children went to school with diplomats’ kids, high level federal employees, lots of lawyers, you get the picture and that’s the public schools, not private. My kids and I were stunned to find that lots of their friends had never been downtown for anything, and this was frequently high school kids. Almost all the museums are free (thanks Federal Government!), there’s tons of stuff to do and yet they NEVER went into DC. My kids rode the Metro without me once they were in high school. Stunning.
I think the Chicago area may be unusual, because I remember it was always a big thing to go into the city, especially during the holidays to see the store windows or “The Nutcracker.” We lived on the North Shore (near-ish Waukegan) and our school went on field trips to the Art Institute or Museum of Science & Industry all the time. Hell, I remember my parents taking me to see Chagall’s mosaic after it was first installed, and I would have been 5 or 6 at the time.
And yet I hear stories from people who grew up in other areas that they never went to the nearest city. I met someone here in LA who never left the confines of Orange County until she was 18!
@Shana: Virginians being afraid of DC is very, very common. My wife J grew up outside of Boston and went into the city (to the Rat and similar places) to hear live bands when she was in high school and college. When she moved to NoVA, she would go to the original 930 Club by herself to hear bands. When she told her Virginia cousins about it, they all thought she was insane and was taking her life into her hands. :-( She still goes to the (new) 930 Club and the Black Cat by herself on occasion.
My first trip to DC was around December 1987. I walked from my hotel near the DC Hilton to the Vietnam Memorial at night and spent an hour or so there and walked back. (It’s an amazing experience at night.) Never even felt uncomfortable.
Too many white Americans are afraid of their shadows… :-(
(Who is of the Caucasian persuasion)
I grew up in Oak Park and I was traveling to the Loop by myself on the Lake Street “L” when I was about six or seven years old. Of course that would never EVER happen now, but I have distinct memories of going to hear Zino Francescatti perform at Orchestra Hall — by myself — and going to the Art Institute (the Thorne Miniature Rooms) — by myself — in or even earlier than 1950. Not often, and never after dark, but I had been downtown with my mother many times and she knew I knew where to get off the train and how to walk to Michigan Avenue. In retrospect I’m a bit horrified, but I was never the least bit scared, and never had any nasty experiences. We also used to walk all over Oak Park and River Forest, and again, never a worry about coming to harm. As I say, it would never happen now, and that’s likely a good thing, but the ’40s and ’50s were a very different time, and I’m glad they were my childhood years.
Tree With Water
@KG: @Lavocat: When I think of Staten Island, I think of the Staten Island Ferry, and Bobby Thompson taking it home, alone and unrecognized, right after hitting the shot heard ’round the world off Ralph Branca in 1951.
Steve in the ATL
@burnspbesq: Magna is great, but less so from a fourth tier law school
He could even be proclaimed a hero of the Tea Party.
No one’s mentioned the thread title pun?
J R in WV
@Tommy: I worked in the state capitol, which is the largest city in the state at about 60,000 people. People I worked with in town drove in to work, out to go home, and never stopped in town for anything.
There were black people, you see. And we all know that any of them could contaminate you with a mere glance!
My home state is always competitive for lowest violent crime rate in the nation, which is in the midst of a dramatic crash in the violent crime rate. Which is why we need more police, with more weapons, because crime is down through the basement! ;-)
But I digress. Tommy, you were actually around a big city, with real crime in some locations. So there was actually something to fear. I live in a place where violent crime is either spousal abuse, drug deal gone bad, or out behind a bar a 4 am. There is virtually nothing to fear anywhere you would go shopping or dining out. But fear they do, the scary black people. So sad.
Mike Grimm is only 44, so the GOP can easily write this one off as a youthful indiscretion.