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Ethics Committee defers Grimm case to Justice Dept.

Citing a request from the Department of Justice, the House Ethics Committee has announced that they have deferred consideration of violations Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) may have committed while running for office in 2010.

In June of 2012, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) sent a referral to the House Ethics Committee regarding whether Grimm may have violated federal campaign finance laws before being elected. 

Grimm is accused of accepting prohibited campaign contributions, providing false information in campaign finance reports, and improperly seeking assistance from a foreign national in soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for offering to use his official position to assist that individual in obtaining a green card.

NBC's Pete Williams reported in August that the FBI contacted congressional offices, including that of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), asking for information about Grimm. 

According to a statement by the Ethics Committee, there was initially some question about whether they had jurisdiction over Grimm's alleged violations, considering they would have been committed before he was a member of Congress. 

The committee contends, citing precedent, that it does, in fact, have jurisdiction since Grimm was running for Congress, but it has still deferred any action on the case to the Justice Department while it completes its investigation.