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Grimm, the FBI, and the Sea of Galilee

Associated Press

We talked yesterday about the Republican congressmen who went to Israel, had some alcohol, and thought it'd be a good idea to jump into the Sea of Galilee. One of them, Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder, even did so naked.

One of the strange angles to this, however, was that the matter was reviewed by the FBI. Why would federal law enforcement care? As it turns out, the FBI wasn't concerned with the raucous behavior, so much as it cares about one of the members who went on the trip.

The FBI is indeed interested in a trip that House Republicans made to Israel last summer. But it's not because Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder took his pants off and jumped into the Sea of Galilee after a night of drinking. [...]

FBI agents were actually interested in Grimm's failure to file paperwork related to his trip to Cyprus following his Israeli junket, which had been paid for by the Cyprus Federation of America. The president of that company was arrested on federal corruption charges in June. Grimm had reported the Israel trip in his initial filing in May but did not list the trip to Cyprus until he amended it in June, one day after Cyprus Federation of America's president was arrested.

Well, that certainly explains a lot. We learned recently that Grimm, a freshman Republican and former Romney campaign surrogate, "failed to report a privately financed trip he took to Cyprus last August and also didn't list it as a gift on the first two iterations of his annual financial disclosure form, disclosing it only after the president of the sponsoring group was arrested on federal corruption charges."

This came on the heels of revelations surrounding a federal grand jury investigating Grimm's alleged fundraising improprieties.

Given that Grimm was part of the Sea of Galilee festivities, it helps makes sense of the FBI's interest.