Rep. Michael Grimm's (R-N.Y.) career is off to a rocky start. The conservative freshman, in the middle of his first re-election bid, is campaigning while facing an investigation from the FBI's public corruption unit, and subpoenas have already been issued as part of a federal grand jury probe. It's generally not a good sign when politicians run into this kind of trouble.
But Grimm's troubles took an even more curious turn over the weekend, when some windows were broken at his campaign office on Staten Island. Vandalism, of course, is never acceptable, but Grimm did his best to dramatize the incident, calling it a "politically motivated crime" that constituted an "assault on democracy" and an "attack on free elections."
Even more importantly, Grimm also said the broken windows on Saturday night were part of a larger crime -- the Republican said the vandals had also broken into one of his computers and erased "confidential" files. This seemed very hard to believe -- the holes in the windows were far too small for a human to climb through -- but that was the claim Grimm made publicly.
Yesterday, Grimm's version of events took a turn for the worse.
The vandal who smashed windows over the weekend at Representative Michael G. Grimm's campaign office on Staten Island has come forward, and he is not even old enough to vote.
He is 14 years old and confessed to a counselor at his school, where he is in the eighth grade, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.
The kid didn't realize it was a congressman's office, he didn't touch any computers, and nothing was stolen.
When law enforcement found no evidence Grimm's computers had been tampered with, Grimm shifted gears, saying it's "possible that a volunteer could have inadvertently compromised the computer and failed to report it."
The latest polling shows Grimm with a double-digit lead, despite his ongoing scandals.
* thanks to my colleague Vanessa Silverton-Peel for the idea for the headline