On balance, the situation is good news for Democrats aiming to win Grimm's seat, which President Obama carried with 52 percent of the vote in 2012. But Grimm isn't throwing in the towel, and neither are his fellow Republicans.
John Antoniello, the Staten Island Republican chairman, said he spoke to Mr. Grimm on Friday, and Mr. Grimm said he definitely planned to continue his campaign.But as tough as Grimm's campaign is going to be with an indictment hanging over his head, staying in the U.S. House may be less of a concern than keeping himself out of the big house. He faces 20 counts, including both fraud and perjury. Among the allegations: That Grimm underreported income at his Manhattan restaurant in part by paying his employees—some of whom were undocumented—in cash. And he might face more before it's all said and done:
“He’s got my complete support, and I’m sure the party’s also,” Mr. Antoniello said on Sunday night.
Guy V. Molinari, the former Staten Island borough president and congressman who has been a mentor to Mr. Grimm, said he was convinced Mr. Grimm was innocent.
“My support is 100 percent,” Mr. Molinari told The Staten Island Advance. “We are going to run and we are going to win.”
Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, said at a news conference that there was a “larger investigation that is still continuing” into Mr. Grimm, but did not specify its nature. She would not explain how an inquiry into possible campaign fraud led to the tax-fraud charges, saying only that “whenever there’s an investigation into someone’s business activities it is usually very broad-reaching.”The good news for Grimm is that he's no longer in federal custody—he's out on bail, using his home as collateral. But the fact that that's the good news is a pretty good indicator of the fix he's in.