WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it would defer its probe of Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., at the request of the Justice Department.
"The Department of Justice has asked the committee to continue to defer consideration of this matter and the committee, following precedent, agreed to continue to defer consideration of this matter at this time. At least annually, the committee will make a public statement if it continues to defer taking action on the matter," Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and ranking member Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said in a statement.
The FBI has been investigating allegations Grimm received hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions, Washington publication The Hill reported.
Ofer Biton, a former Grimm fundraiser, was convicted this year of lying about his finances on a 2010 visa application. The Ethics Committee has been asked to look into whether Grimm helped Biton receive a green card in exchange for illegal campaign funds.
Grimm's communications director, Carol Danko, Tuesday called the charges "without merit," saying they are "politically motivated in their creation only to sully his reputation in an effort to destroy his political career."