The House Ethics Committee has deferred its investigation into Rep. Michael Grimm’s post-State of the Union threat to a Time Warner Cable News reporter at the request of the US Justice Department.

The committee announced its decision today, saying that it had received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics back in April that Grimm, a Staten Island Republican, may have violated House rules – or the law – when he threatened to throw TWC News Washington reporter Michael Scotto off the balcony during an interview after President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Scotto had been inquiring about the congressman’s fundraising, which has for several years been the subject of a federal probe. Grimm abruptly walked away from Scotto, but then returned and said: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony…I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Grimm, a former FBI agent and ex-Marine, has since been accused by federal prosecutors of underreporting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of employee wages and some $1 million worth of revenue while running an Upper East Side restaurant, essentially keeping two sets of records and fraudulently lowering his federal and state taxes. He also allegedly lied while under oath while he was a member of Congress.

The congressman, who has consistently maintained his innocence, has been charged with, among other things, perjury, wire fraud, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, employment of illegal immigrants, obstructing and impeding tax laws, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The House Ethics Committee was asked by the Justice Department to defer consideration of Grimm’s threat to Scotto, and voted unanimously on June 18 to honor that request. At least annually, the committee will make a public statement if it continues to defer taking action on this matter.

Not long after the incident with Scotto, which made national headlines, Grimm apologized to the reporter and said he had “overreacted.” Grimm is seeking re-election despite his legal troubles. He is facing a challenge from former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia.

House Ethics Committee statement on Rep. Michael Grimm by liz_benjamin6490