AP: FBI May Probe NY Congressman's Fundraising

By Salon Staff

Published March 3, 2012 8:54PM (EST)

NEW YORK (AP) — The FBI is considering whether to investigate allegations that followers of a New York City rabbi made illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm.

Followers of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Grimm's 2010 campaign. Some donors have since said they broke rules to donate.

Pinto hasn't commented publicly, but former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner now says the rabbi told him in the fall of 2010 that Grimm had extorted him for the money.

Weiner says he didn't know if the allegations are true, but reported them to the FBI anyway.

A law enforcement official confirmed Saturday that Weiner contacted the bureau in 2010 and that agents are mulling a formal investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is incomplete.

Grimm says the allegations are "profoundly absurd."

Salon Staff

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