GrimmGate?: Police Investigate Break In at New York Campaign Headquarters

Vandals throw bricks through Staten Island office of Republican candidate but Dems suspicious.

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New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm hasn't had the best of luck this campaign season and things just got worse.

Over the weekend his office on Staten Island was vandalized and, according to the campaign, data on multiple computers in the office were erased entirely.

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The New York Police Department confirms Grimm's campaign headquarters had three windows shattered sometime between 7:30 p.m. Saturday when employees left for the evening and 10 a.m. Sunday morning when they returned. NYPD says the matter is being investigated as a criminal mischief case and not a burglary because there is no sign of forced entry. The NYPD computer crimes unit has also been deployed to look further into the campaign's claim that computers were tampered with.

The break-in comes on the heals of a an  FBI investigation into reports Grimm engaged in illegal fundraising in 2010.

Grimm says the vandalism was an "act of violence against Democracy" and a "targeted and deliberate act" against his campaign.

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"This wasn't just some kids playing with rocks outside," Grimm says. "I am not nervous for my safety. I am only hoping that we don't start seeing acts of violence against political campaigns."

Grimm says the most alarming part of the crime was that campaign servers were wiped dry of their contents after he says the intruder installed a new operating system on computers. Luckily, Grimm's campaign says the information was backed up just hours earlier and no volunteer or voter security information was breached because it is kept offsite.

Grimm says the incident fits into a trend of incidents against the campaign and comes just weeks after scores of signs went missing from supporters' yards.

"In the last two or three weeks there has been a methodical, strategic, stealing of my lawn signs," Grimm says. "Entire neighborhoods had signs stolen. Even a 4 ft. by 8 ft. billboard was stolen."

Neither police nor Grimm are commenting about who might be responsible.

"The New York City Police Department is investigating this, and I will leave it to them," Grimm says.

Grimm's Democratic opponent Mark Murphy released a statement Sunday evening decrying the crime.

"There is never any place for violence or vandalism in an electoral campaign or political debate," says Nathan Smith, the campaign's spokesman. "We hope that the police quickly apprehend whomever was responsible for this criminal act and prosecute all parties involved to the fullest extent of the law."

However, some local Democrats aren't  buying Grimm's story.

"If someone really did put a brick through the window, it was probably someone who had one too many beers not someone recreating Watergate," one Democrat said. "Grimm's campaign comparing it to Gabby Giffords and calling it an unprecedented attack on Democracy seem like a little bit much."

Another New York Democrat said "I truthfully don't believe the Staten island Dems are organized enough to plan a break in."

When asked if it was possible that the break in was an inside job, Grimm said "I don't think so, no."