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House panel confirms ethics probe of Grimm

Nov. 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A House ethics panel says it will defer its probe of whether Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., broke campaign finance laws while the Justice Department investigates.

The Ethics Committee was looking into whether Grimm violated federal law by soliciting and accepting prohibited campaign contributions, included false information in campaign finance reports, and improperly sought assistance from a foreign national in soliciting campaign donations in exchange for using his position to help that person get a green card, the panel said Monday in a release.

In referring the Grimm matter to the committee, the Office of Congressional Ethics had recommended dismissal of the complaint because "it could not establish with a sufficient certainty that a violation occurred after Representative Grimm became a member of Congress."

The committee said in previous years it had determined it may investigate actions that violated laws, regulations or standards of conduct that occurred during an initial campaign for a House of Representatives seat.

The committee in July unanimously voted to extend its review of the matter until Monday.

"The Department of Justice has asked the committee to defer consideration of this matter and the committee, following precedent, unanimously voted to defer consideration of this matter at this time," the committee said. "At least annually, the committee will make a public statement if it continues to defer taking action on the matter."

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