The BBC has not yet been able to reach Prof Kogan.
Facebook said the suspension would remain in place “pending further information”.
Cambridge Analytica, which is not connected with the University of Cambridge, recently rose to prominence for its significant role in US President Trump’s election campaign, where it provided intricate data on the thoughts of American voters.
Former presidential advisor Steve Bannon was on its board of directors.
The company also played a role in the Brexit referendum campaign.
"In 2015, we learned that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan... violated our platform policies..."
Prof Kogan is said to have created an app called “thisisyourdigitallife”. It was accessed by approximately 270,000 people, Facebook said.
"In so doing, they gave their consent for [Prof] Kogan to access information such as the city they set on their profile, or content they had liked, as well as more limited information about friends who had their privacy settings set to allow it.”
Users who downloaded it was told they were taking a personality prediction test that was part of a "research app used by psychologists”.
While that was initially true - Prof Kogan is a psychologist - Facebook said the data was then kept and sold on to third-parties including Cambridge Analytica and its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories. Another recipient was said to be an employee at Eunoia Technologies.
Mr. Grewal claimed: "Although Kogan gained access to this information in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook at that time, he did not subsequently abide by our rules."
Facebook told the companies which bought the data to delete it immediately and said it was given assurances the information would be destroyed.
"Several days ago, we received reports that, contrary to the certifications we were given, not all data was deleted," Mr. Grewal said.
"We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims. If true, this is another unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments they made.”
The firm said it would not rule out legal action over the incidents.
In a statement, Cambridge Analytica said it deleted "all the data it had received" when it was told the information was obtained in breach of Facebook's terms of service.
"For the avoidance of doubt, no data [from Prof Kogan] was used in the work we did in the 2016 US presidential election," it added.
The University of Cambridge said it had no reason to believe Prof Kogan, employed in its psychology department, used university facilities while gathering the data.
A university spokesman said professors were able to have their own business interests - but they must be "held in a personal capacity".
For weeks, allies of President Trump ratcheted up the pressure to “release the memo.” The impact, according to supporters, would be monumental: It would shake the F.B.I. “to its core” (Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina) or it would reveal abuses “100 times bigger” than what incited the American Revolution (Sebastian Gorka, a former White House official).
The president himself said, after the memo’s release on Friday, that it “vindicates” him in the probe.
But it does no such thing. The memo from House Republicans, led by Representative Devin Nunes, fell well short of the hype. Its main argument is that when the Justice Department sought a warrant to wiretap the former Trump adviser Carter Page, it did not reveal that Christopher Steele — the author of a controversial opposition-research dossier — was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign through a law firm.
This is actually a fairly common — and rarely effective — the argument made by defendants who seek to suppress evidence obtained by a warrant.
What might be the lasting legacy of the Nunes memo is how President Trump reacted to it. According to reports, Mr. Trump suggested: “the memo might give him the justification to fire [the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein] — something about which Trump has privately mused — or make other changes at the Justice Department, which he had complained was not sufficiently loyal to him.”
In fact, Mr. Trump’s approval of the release of the memo and his comments that releasing it could make it easier for him to fire Mr. Rosenstein could help Robert Mueller, the special counsel, prove that Mr. Trump fired James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, with a “corrupt” intent — in other words, the intent to wrongfully impede the administration of justice — as the law requires.
After all, Mr. Trump is now aware that he is under investigation for obstruction, and he knows that Mr. Comey said that Mr. Trump wanted “loyalty” from him. Mr. Mueller could argue that the president’s comments that Mr. Rosenstein was not “loyal” and his desire to fire Mr. Rosenstein suggest Mr. Trump’s unlawful intent when he fired Mr. Comey.
The memo also offers the outlines of a broader probable cause case against Mr. Page. The Nunes memo suggests that there was substantial additional evidence, even though it avoids discussing that evidence. The memo indicates that the investigation of Mr. Page began well before the warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was sought and that the Russia investigation was initiated because of the statements of George Papadopoulos.
The warrant was issued and then renewed three separate times. Each time, as is standard in seeking a FISA warrant, a judge reviewed extensive information before issuing it. The fact that the warrant was renewed three times indicates that the F.B.I. obtained useful intelligence each time — a judge wouldn’t have approved a renewal if the prior warrant came up empty. That suggests that once the warrants were issued, they revealed important evidence.
In addition, the timeline set forth in the memo indicates that the FISA warrants were submitted by both the Obama and Trump administrations. The initial surveillance began before Mr. Rosenstein was deputy attorney general, and by the time he was at the Justice Department, he approved renewal applications that were based on the intelligence gathered from the earlier surveillance — not the dossier.
On the issue of bias, whenever the Justice Department seeks a warrant, they must present extensive evidence to a judge, who decides whether to issue the warrant based on that evidence. After the fact, defendants can challenge warrants by arguing that the government recklessly excluded information that would have caused the judge not to sign the warrant.
Courts have repeatedly held that even when the government omitted the criminal history of the informant or the fact that the informant was paid, it didn’t matter unless the omitted information would have caused the judge not to sign the warrant.
The Nunes memo claims to show that the warrant was obtained unlawfully, but there is no way of knowing that without examining the extensive evidence submitted in conjunction with the warrant, which the memo does not do. Given that Mr. Steele was a former intelligence officer, not a flipper with an extensive criminal history, it will be hard to show that a judge would have believed he was lying if the source of his funding was included in the application.
Given how little substance there is to the Nunes memo, the Republicans made a misstep by pushing through its release in a partisan manner. The specter of an unreleased memo was more menacing than the thin allegations revealed in the memo itself, which are hotly disputed by congressional Democrats.
Although at least one Republican maintains that the memo shows that Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. Comey, and others committed “treason,” the memo itself does not allege that the F.B.I. or Department of Justice knowingly used false information or even that the information they used was false. Because the allegations in the memo are legally irrelevant, I would be surprised if the memo was more than a short-lived publicity stunt.
This is not the result Mr. Nunes expected when his staff wrote the memo, but that could be its lasting impact.
The struggle for the position of the US secretary of state intensified on Friday with forceful lobbying from one candidate and reported calls from the Trump presidential team for the other to apologise publicly for campaign slights in return for the job.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump loyalist, has been aggressively pushing his case in the media, boasting of his foreign experience. His apparent main rival for the job, the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who spoke derisively of Donald Trump during the primaries, has been trying to keep a low profile but has found himself baited by leaks from the transition teams.
The secretary of state contest has become the most visceral expression of a battle inside Trump’s circle between those calling on him to reward loyalty during the campaign and deliver on his pledges, and others urging the president-elect to use appointments to build a broader consensus and heal the divide in the Republican party.
The Trump transition has already overturned the normal practice of choosing top cabinet members behind closed doors, turning it into a spectacle with contenders boarding a golden elevator in Trump headquarters in New York in front of the cameras on their way to making their pitch to the president-elect.
However, Giuliani’s open campaign in the press and public interventions by Trump aides have set new precedents in the selection process. Giuliani has fought openly to combat perceptions of inexperience, not having held an official post since leaving office as New York mayor in 2001.
“I probably have travelled in the last 13 years as much as Hillary did in the years she was secretary of state,” Giuliani said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Friday. “My knowledge of foreign policy is as good, or better, than anybody they’re talking to.”
“I’ve been to England eight times, Japan six times, France five times. China three times – once with Bill Clinton, by the way,” he added.
It is the purpose for much of that travel that it has been under the closest scrutiny in the past few days. He earned a living as a public speaker and consultant for a large number of foreign governments, corporations and organisations. Most controversially, he was paid tens of thousands of pounds to speak out forcefully in favour of an Iranian rebel group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK), which was listed as a terrorist organisation by the state department from 1997 to 2012 and is widely considered to operate like a cult because of its control over the lives of its members.
Some Trump advisers say Mitt Romney should be out of contention for the job after his comments on Donald Trump during the campaign. Photograph: Press via Rex/Shutterstock
Romney is a more conventional candidate, backed by much of the Republican establishment in Congress, but over the course of the campaign he derided the eventual winner. “Dishonesty is Donald Trump’s hallmark,” he said in a speech in March. “Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities. The bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.”
Some Trump advisers argue such remarks put Romney beyond the pale. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, tweeted that she was receiving “a deluge” of comments expressing concern over Romney’s loyalty as a secretary of state. Fox News cited a senior Trump aide as suggesting that Romney make a public apology for his campaign remarks.
“These fat old men should soon decide they are no longer on the last century”
A growing number of prominent Republican women are worried that as members of their male-dominated party step up to defend Donald Trump against accusations of sexual assault, they are causing irreparable damage to the GOP’s deteriorating relationship with female voters.
Trump has faced questions throughout his campaign about his crass comments about women, but concern escalated this month following the release of a 2005 video in which Trump boasted that he had sexually assaulted women and subsequent allegations by 11 women that Trump had inappropriately touched or kissed them. A series of mostly male Republicans have come to Trump’s defense — dismissing the accusers as liars and, some worry, further alienating the female voters that the party desperately needs to survive.
“For next-generation professional women, the party is going to have to do something very, very drastic to change the course of where this candidate has taken us,” said Katie Packer, a deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. “I think the leaders in our party are going to have to aggressively reject this. Come November 9, they better be prepared to make very strong statements condemning all of Trump’s behavior.”
This division within the Republican Party comes as polls suggest the nation is on the verge of electing its first female president even as misogyny remains a part of American life and culture. Ironically, it is Trump’s candidacy rather than Hillary Clinton’s that has brought sexism to the forefront of political debate.
Conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter’s vocal criticism of Donald Trump has made her a target online. She talks about her experience, and her anger at Trump's supporters within the Republican party. (Deirdra O'Regan/The Washington Post)
The controversy also comes as the Republican Party continues to struggle to attract women, who make up a majority of the electorate and who have supported the Democratic presidential candidate in every election going back to 1992. President Obama won women by 11 points in 2012, and several polls show Clinton leading among women by an even bigger margin this year.
A growing number of well-known female Republican strategists and politicians have had it with Trump. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said earlier this month she “cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.” Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, whose looks Trump once mocked, said “Donald Trump does not represent me or my party.” And former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice wrote on Facebook earlier this month: “Enough! Donald Trump should not be President.”
The latest flare-up came Tuesday night, when former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R) exploded at Fox News’ Megyn Kelly during an interview, repeatedly shaking his finger at her and accusing her of being “fascinated with sex” because she brought up allegations of sexual assault against Trump. In a scolding tone, Gingrich tried to tell Kelly which words she could or could not use.
Gingrich once had a fascination of his own with Bill Clinton’s sex life, as he was a driving force behind the movement to impeach Clinton following a consensual sexual relationship he had with a young former intern. Clinton became the second president in American history to be impeached by the House, but he was acquitted by the Senate. Voters, meanwhile, punished the Republicans for what they saw as an overreach: The GOP lost five House seats in the 1998 midterm elections, which led to Gingrich’s resignation as speaker.
Trump and his supporters deemed Gingrich’s interview a victory, with the campaign’s director of social media tweeting that Kelly is “not very smart” and telling his followers: “Watch what happens to her after this election is over.”
“Congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview,” Trump said at a ribbon-cutting at his new hotel in Washington on Wednesday. “We don’t play games, Newt, right?”
Trump lauds Gingrich for Megyn Kelly interview: ‘We don’t play games, Newt, right?’
Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, speaks to reporters in "spin alley" following the final presidential debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 19. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
Two of the women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct piled on. Juanita Broaddrick tweeted: “Beauty is only skin deep. Megyn Kelly is ugly as hell on the inside.” Paula Jones wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted: “Woohoo, he slammed this nasty heifer!”
But many other Republican women have concluded in recent weeks that this is not the party they know.
“Looks like Newt Gingrich just proved my point again,” tweeted Amanda Carpenter, a conservative commentator and former communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. Carpenter wrote this week in The Washington Post about how her party has left women like her behind by ignoring Trump’s chauvinism that was “well-documented in decades’ worth of publicly available smutty television, radio and print interviews long before he became the nominee.”
“If the GOP has truly convinced itself that openly engaging in sexual assault fantasies is something normal that men do among one another, I have a suggestion. Relocate the Republican National Committee headquarters into a men’s-only locker room,” Carpenter wrote. “Eliminate all pretenses of wanting to let women in.”
Christine Anderson, a Republican pollster, said in an interview that Democrats no longer have to push a “war on women” narrative because it’s playing out on its own thanks to Trump — and comments like those that Gingrich made on Tuesday.
“It’s just one more clueless middle-age-to-older white guy taking to task a woman,” Anderson said. “It’s so unhelpful on every level.”
One GOP woman wonders why the men in her party won’t defend her
Nicolle Wallace, former communications chief for George W. Bush who is now a political commentator, tweeted that Republicans are now “engaged in a hot war against women that will end badly” for the party.
Earlier this week, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager and the first woman to lead a GOP presidential nominee’s campaign, seemed to struggle when asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if she believes the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault.
“I believe — Donald Trump has told me and his family, and the rest of America now, that none of this is true,” Conway said. “These are lies and fabrications. They’re all made up. And I think that it’s not for me to judge what those women believe. I’ve not talked to them, I’ve talked to him.”
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of abuse or sexism and has bragged about empowering female employees in his businesses.
“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump said during the last presidential debate when asked about his accusers, prompting laughter from the crowd in Las Vegas.
Carrie Almond, president of the National Federation of Republican Women, has traveled to 39 states in an RV this year, talking with thousands of women who enthusiastically support Trump and believe the party speaks for them.
“It’s very important to not put all women into the same basket because not everyone sees everything the same way,” said Almond, who is from Missouri.
When confronted with criticism, Trump tends to go after women in much more personal and demeaning ways than men, even though he insists he is an equal-opportunity counterpuncher. Trump’s attacks on female journalists, accusers and rivals over the past year have been heavy with criticism of their looks, their intelligence and their mental health.
After the first debate during the Republican primary — which featured three moderators, two men and one woman, who all peppered him with uncomfortable questions — Trump zeroed in on the woman, Kelly, for asking him about comments he makes about women. After the debate, Trump said that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Donald Trump calls her ‘Crooked Hillary,’ but his fans just say ‘b----’
When the Muslim American parents of a soldier killed in Iraq in 2004 appeared at the Democratic National Convention in July in opposition to Trump’s candidacy, Trump zeroed in on the mother, Ghazala Khan, saying in an ABC News interview: “She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” Khan later said it is still too difficult for her to talk about her son’s death.
In early September, when the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” were critical of Trump, he zeroed in on the female host, Mika Brzezinski, tweeting: “Just heard that crazy and very dumb @morningmika had a mental breakdown while talking about me on the low ratings @Morning_Joe. Joe a mess!”
Trump has told NBC’s Katy Tur to “be quiet” when she pressed him during a news conference, and snapped at CNN’s Dana Bash on Wednesday that she was “rude” to ask about the propriety of holding an event boosting his new Washington hotel. He urged his millions of Twitter followers to search for a seemingly nonexistent “sex tape” of a former Miss Universe whom he had criticized as fat. And he has accused Hillary Clinton of lacking “a presidential look.”
When Trump made a similar critique of Fiorina during the primaries, she responded: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”
Trump’s rallies have also been hotbeds of incendiary rhetoric around gender, including popular anti-Clinton T-shirts in many locales proclaiming, “Trump that b----!”
John Weaver, a GOP consultant who worked on the presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said he is stunned by “the misogyny, the lack of understanding of where this country is now” coming from Trump’s campaign.
“If you have a gender gap the size of the Snake River Canyon, why do you trot out Newt Gingrich, and [former New York mayor] Rudy Giuliani and your nominee to talk about it and further make it worse?” said Weaver, noting that all three men have been married three times. “The only ones I can see who seem to be obsessed about sex in this campaign are those three people.”
Weaver continued: “He’s going to lose the general election, and the credit goes to the women of America who are saving us from this guy.”
Republican Gov. Chris Christie was told during the George Washington Bridge lane closures that a Democratic mayor expressed concern that the resulting traffic jams in his city were political retribution, a former aide to the governor testified Monday.
Ex-aide Bridget Anne Kelly testified in her criminal trial that she told Christie about Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich's concerns and Christie told her it was a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey project and to "let Wildstein handle it," referring to David Wildstein. Wildstein, an executive at the Port Authority, pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to punish Sokolich for not endorsing the governor's re-election effort.
"I said, 'He's talking about government retribution,'" Kelly testified. "(Christie) said, 'It's a Port Authority project. Let Wildstein handle it.'"
Christie has consistently denied any knowledge of the plot or the lane closures while they were going on and has not been charged.
Kelly maintains she believed the September 2013 lane closures were part of a traffic study, but she testified Monday that she became confused on their final day after Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye ordered the lanes reopened even though Wildstein said the study was a success.
"None of that made any sense to me," she said. "This was totally contrary to anything he was telling me. I didn't understand it at all."
Kelly is accused of plotting with Wildstein and another former Christie ally, Bill Baroni, to close lanes on the bridge, which connects Fort Lee and New York, as revenge against Sokolich. Kelly and Baroni have pleaded not guilty and have said the government has twisted federal law to turn their actions into crimes.
Kelly's testimony again calls into question Christie's public comments about what he knew. She also testified Friday that Christie approved of the idea for a traffic study of the bridge, and she testified she spoke with the governor a third time about the lane closures while they were going on.
Christie spokesman Brian Murray has said the governor had "no knowledge prior to or during these lane re-alignment" and "no role in authorizing them." Murray added that anything said to the contrary "is simply untrue."
Kelly on Monday also testified that Christie said that he had told Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to have Foye back off in the days after Foye had testified to New Jersey lawmakers that the lane closures were ordered by Wildstein and that he had no knowledge about any traffic study.
One of Christie's top political advisers, Mike DuHaime, testified Friday that he told Christie ahead of a December 2013 news conference that Kelly and his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, knew about the lane closures. Christie then told reporters that no one in his administration was involved in the closures.
Wildstein, who was appointed by the Christie administration to a newly created position at the Port Authority, testified that he used the agency to help Christie for political purposes.
The scandal developed just after Christie won re-election handily and as his national political profile was rising. It ultimately weighed down his presidential campaign, which ended with a fizzle in the primary season after a poor showing in New Hampshire.
Kelly also testified Monday that working for Christie was "confusing and frightening" but that he could also be charming. She testified Friday that Christie once threw a water bottle at her, angry that she suggested he introduce local political leaders at an event following a massive fire at the Jersey shore. She said then that she was afraid of him.
Gov. Chris Christie will appear in state Superior Court in Bergen County next month regarding a citizen complaint alleging that the governor committed official misconduct and was involved in the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
The Bergen County prosecutor's office is investigating the complaint, which was initially filed in Fort Lee Municipal Court.
It was filed by local activist Bill Brennan after recent testimony in the federal trial of two former Christie aides who are accused of shutting local access lanes to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing the governor’s 2013 re-election bid.
Christie has denied having any knowledge of the scheme as it was occurring.
The governor is scheduled to appear in court in Hackensack on Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m., according to papers filed state Superior Court on Monday. The initial appearance had been scheduled for Oct. 23, but prosecutors and the governor’s attorney agreed to adjourn it until that time.
Last week, the governor's spokesman, Brian Murray, said Christie would "immediately" appeal the ruling by a municipal court judge which found probable cause to investigate the complaint. Murray did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Acting Bergen County prosecutor Gurbir Grewal was appointed by Christie in January and was nominated for a full term by the governor last month.
A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Christie is being represented by Craig Carpenito, co-leader of the government and internal investigations group at Alston & Bird LLP in New York City.
A Judge orders Christie’s Corruption case to proceed
A New Jersey judge is allowing an official misconduct complaint against Gov. Chris Christie to move forward in the legal drama over his alleged role in the lane-closure scandal known as Bridgegate.
Bergen County Judge Roy F. McGeady signed a criminal summons against Christie on Thursday morning, ruling there is probable cause to investigate a complaint of official misconduct against him.
The complaint was initially lodged late last month by activist and former Teaneck firefighter Bill Brennan. It stemmed from the ongoing, separate Bridgegate trial in which ex-Port Authority official David Wildstein recently testified that the Republican governor knew about the September 2013 lane closures — allegedly ordered by Christie staffers as political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.
The alleged scheme caused a crippling traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge for days. Brennan has argued the scandal has cost New Jersey taxpayers millions of dollars.
Next, the case will go to the Bergen County prosecutor's office, which will ultimately decide whether the case will be sent to a grand jury.
Christie has from the beginning of the scandal maintained that he had no knowledge or involvement in the lane closures.
Brian Murray, a spokesman for the governor, told NBC News that the ruling will be appealed immediately.
"This is a dishonorable complaint filed by a known serial complainant and political activist with a history of abusing the judicial system. The simple fact is the Governor had no knowledge of the lane realignments either before they happened or while they were happening. This matter has already been thoroughly investigated by three separate independent investigations," Murray said in a statement.
Wildstein has already pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme. He has testified against two of Christie’s former allies — his ex-deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his former top Port Authority official, Bill Baroni, over their alleged roles in the scandal.
Disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm got eight months in prison and a dressing-down Friday from a Brooklyn judge short on sympathy for the tough-guy pol’s plea to evade jail.
“Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation,” Brooklyn Federal Judge Pamela Chen said in sentencing the Staten Island Republican.
Grimm, 45, pleaded guilty in December to tax evasion for hiding around $1 million in receipts from Healthalicious, a Manhattan restaurant he owned. He also admitted he lied under oath in 2013 in a separate civil case.
The plea capped a controversial four year tenure in Congress, most of which Grimm spent under the shadow of a federal investigation initially focused on allegations of illegal fundraising in his 2010 campaign.
Grimm raised his profile when he threatened to throw a NY1 reporter who asked about the probe off a balcony in a House office building minutes after President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address.
He was indicted in April 2014, but won reelection last year, only to resign less than two months later after his guilty plea.
Grimm, looking well-tanned, didn’t help himself with an emotional courtroom speech that seemed to irk Chen.
“My entire life, I have scraped and I have clawed and I have killed myself to better myself,” said Grimm, whose lawyers highlighted his combat experience in the Marines during the Gulf War.
Michael Grimm officially resigns in disgrace
“A Marine is taught not to fail,” he said. “I was ashamed to fail.”
He suggested that he was singled out for a common practice in the business.
“The harsh reality is that if you own a restaurant in Manhattan and you have delivery boys, you have to pay off the books or you close,” Grimm said.
He noted he resigned from Congress and said: “I made a bad decision that I will regret for the rest of my life.”
Chen called his remorse belated and inadequate.
“What the defendant and his partners did was steal from the government and the public,” she said.
Grimm’s loss of his job and pension “are not punishments,” Chen said. “They are collateral consequences of his crimes.”
The judge noted Grimm’s experience as an FBI agent investigating white-collar crime meant “he of all people should have known better.”
Grimm who reports earning $10,000 a month since his resignation as consultant for startup firms, is set to turn himself in after Labor Day.
Marco Rubio was 28 when he was elected to the Florida legislature. He was about to become a father and was struggling to balance the financial demands of a growing family with his political aspirations.
About a year and a half after taking his seat in Florida’s part-time legislature, Rubio got a financial boost, accepting a job at the Miami law firm Becker & Poliakoff for $93,000 a year. Although Rubio was a lawyer by training, his colleagues quickly recognized the advantage of having a charismatic, high-energy politician in the office.
“It was as simple as saying, ‘Marco, who should I call in this place about this issue?’ ” recalled Perry Adair, a real estate lawyer in charge of the firm’s Miami office, where Rubio worked from 2001 to 2004. “Marco knew the staff everywhere. He had been in politics all his life.”
During nine years in Tallahassee, as Rubio rose in prominence and ascended to the state House speakership, he became increasingly well compensated as he walked a narrow line between his work as a lawmaker and an employee of outside firms with interests before the state government.
Although he began his legislative career as a man of modest means, Rubio in 2008 reached an income level that placed him in the top 1 percent of American earners. His outside work included helping real estate developers navigate city hall bureaucracies, assisting a law firm in adding ethnic diversity to its client base and lawyer roster, teaching college-level political science classes, and coordinating conference calls for a Washington lobbyist seeking federal funding for Miami hospitals.
Rubio’s annual income grew from about $72,000 when he was elected to the state House in 2000 to $414,000 in 2008, when his two-year speakership ended, according to financial disclosure forms and interviews with Rubio campaign staff members.
[Does Rubio have a spending problem?]
About 80 percent of his total income during his tenure in the state House came from Florida law firms that lobby state and local governments, according to a Washington Post analysis of state financial disclosure forms. Much of the rest was his legislative salary, typically about $29,000 a year.
Now, as the 44-year-old U.S. senator runs for president, he is facing questions about his personal finances and his spending practices. He bought an $80,000 boat and his wife leased a high-end SUV, expenses first reported by the New York Times, and he disclosed cashing out some retirement savings. He had previously come under fire over his use of a Florida Republican Party credit card for personal expenses when he was a state lawmaker, and he reimbursed the state GOP $2,400 in travel expenses that he acknowledged he had mistakenly received for official government travel.
Financial turning point
On the campaign trail, Rubio makes his humble beginnings and middle-class lifestyle central components of his pitch to voters, even bragging at times that he is among the least wealthy candidates in the race. In a subtle dig at his rivals, such as Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush, Rubio often jokes that his detractors think he is “not rich enough” to be president.
Even so, Rubio’s time in Tallahassee marked a financial turning point for the lawmaker and his family.
The bulk of his private-sector income during his Tallahassee years came from his employment at Broad and Cassel, one of Florida’s top law and lobbying firms, which hired Rubio at $300,000 a year in 2004, months after he secured the support from his House colleagues to be in line for the speakership.
Rubio declined to be interviewed for this article. A campaign spokesman, Todd Harris, said that Rubio’s private-sector income was not unusual for state lawmakers and reflected the unique skill set he offered prospective employers.
“Unlike Congress, the Florida legislature is a part-time body, meaning virtually every legislator makes their living from outside employment,” Harris said.
“When Marco was hired at Broad and Cassel, he was in line to become the first Cuban American House speaker in Florida history,” Harris added. “That gave him an enormous profile, along with some very marketable experiences and qualifications.”
Although the annual session plus year-round committee meetings and constituent work often add up to full-time work, many state lawmakers maintain private careers as lawyers or business owners or in other jobs.
A review of Florida financial disclosure forms shows that Rubio experienced an unusually large jump in his private-sector salary. His outside pay grew proportionally more than any of the nine other Florida House speakers who served between 1997 and 2014, the documents show.
Many already earned six-figure incomes as they began climbing the leadership ladder. Generally, they experienced more modest growth during their years in the leadership, the records show.
Harris said it was “impossible, and frankly irrelevant” to compare salaries of state House speakers in a part-time legislature in which members have a broad array of financial backgrounds.
“Some were millionaires before they were ever elected,” Harris added. “Others, like Marco, started with significantly less.”
[With some donors doubting Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio seizes an opening]
Some former colleagues say Rubio charted an unusual path, entering the legislature before establishing an outside career. He had been a city commissioner in tiny West Miami and had focused on building his political networks rather than a lucrative legal portfolio.
Johnnie Byrd, who was House speaker several years before Rubio, explained the difference, noting that he was a “country lawyer” working for a small firm in a small town while Rubio opted for a big firm with political connections.
“My memory of Broad and Cassel is that they were a really rapidly rising firm at that time,” said Byrd, who said he supports Rubio’s presidential bid. “They were one of the big firms in Florida that was doing a lot of government work.”
Rubio’s income raised some concerns among his colleagues, particularly after his big jump upon securing the speakership, said Mike Fasano, who as House majority leader in 2001 gave Rubio an early leadership post but became a critic and backed Rubio’s 2010 Senate rival, Charlie Crist (D). “Other members of the Florida House do not see their salary triple overnight,” said Fasano, who is backing Bush’s presidential campaign. “I feel confident in saying that if he had not been selected to the speaker-designate, his salary would not have shot up to $300,000.”
Questions about lobbying
When Rubio first arrived in Tallahassee in 2000, he was employed by Ruden McClosky, a law firm that paid him $72,000 a year, a total that Rubio recalls in his memoir was barely enough to make ends meet.
In 2001, Rubio met Alan Becker, a former state legislator building a lobbying and law firm. Becker offered Rubio $93,000 to join his firm.
Becker, in an interview, said he hired Rubio to work on zoning and land-use issues. He said he knew that Rubio, focused on the legislature, would have limited time for the firm.
“I was paying him accordingly,” Becker said. “If he was devoting 100 percent to the law business, he would have been paid more because he was worth it.”
During his time at Becker’s firm, Rubio registered with the Miami-Dade County government to lobby on behalf of real estate and other interests. Democrats later cited this to attack him as a lobbyist, but Rubio has said his county-level work focused on local zoning issues and was not lobbying in the traditional sense.
Adair, the Miami lawyer, recalled that Rubio was especially effective in helping clients who were real estate developers cut through the clutter of local government bureaucracies. Adair said Rubio never sought to influence local officials’ decisions.
“It can be hard to get meetings with local government officials and it can be hard to get answers,” he said. “Marco was a good guy to have around because he could help you get an answer that would otherwise have taken two months.”
Marco Rubio's federal lobbying registration. (Documents/U.S. Senate lobbying disclosures.)
In December 2003, Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist for Becker & Poliakoff in Washington, according to records maintained by the U.S. House and Senate and never previously reported. The registration form, which includes Rubio’s signature, declares that he would concentrate on “budget appropriations and health care.”
Harris said that Rubio could not recall filling out the registration form and that he did not lobby. Firm officials said it had been an error, and the firm sent a letter in 2005 asking the Senate to revoke the registration.
At the time that Rubio’s form was filed, Becker & Poliakoff had formed a joint venture with a Washington lobbying firm hired by Miami-Dade County to help find federal funding for Miami’s public hospitals. As part of his work for the Becker firm, Rubio helped Jonathan Slade, one of the Washington lobbyists, learn about the county’s federal needs, Slade said.
Rubio arranged conference calls between Slade and county officials to discuss hospital issues, Slade said. Rubio was usually on the line for the calls, Slade added, but did not participate in the conversations. Slade said that he was not aware that Rubio did any federal lobbying, and that he was surprised to learn Rubio had once registered.
‘Paycheck to paycheck’
By 2003, Rubio had lined up the commitments he needed from his GOP House colleagues to secure his place in line to assume the speaker’s gavel. Soon thereafter, he began to receive other high-income offers.
During a 2004 dinner with Rubio and his wife at Chef Allen’s, a popular restaurant north of Miami, Becker persuaded him to stay by offering him a 50 percent raise. It was less than one of the competing offers, but enough to keep Rubio, at least for a while.
But when Broad and Cassel offered to more than double his salary, Rubio was compelled to listen.
Becker told Rubio that he would be “out of his mind” to say no.
In his memoir, Rubio described himself as “torn.”
“I had been in difficult financial straits when Alan Becker had offered me a job, and I was indebted to him,” Rubio wrote. “But I couldn’t afford to refuse the financial security the Broad and Cassel offer would provide.”
Rubio described his circumstances at the time: 33 years old and the sole earner in his household.
“I had a mortgage, student loans and other debts, and we lived paycheck to paycheck,” he wrote. “We had outgrown our two-bedroom home in West Miami, and my salary at Broad and Cassel would make it possible for us to buy a bigger house and settle some of our debts.”
Broad and Cassel was known for its real estate, litigation and government relations practice.
But Rubio’s role, aides said, was non-political. He was prevented by law from lobbying. The firm’s offer letter to Rubio, dated June 18, 2004, forbade him to introduce legislation that would affect the firm or its clients. The letter also mandated, in accordance with state laws, that Rubio’s salary would not include any money the firm received from lobbying.
Instead, the son of Cuban immigrants was brought on board largely to help the firm diversify its mostly white, male Miami office.
“Because of my political obligations it was understood that my primary responsibility would not be to handle individual clients,” Rubio said in a written response to questions from The Post. “Instead, my job was to raise the firm’s profile in Miami, help attract younger lawyers to build for the future, and opening new doors for the firm, particularly in the Cuban American business community where Broad and Cassel had limited ties.”
Rubio said that, today, the firm’s Miami office is “thriving,” adding that, “I am proud of the leadership role I played to help make that happen.”
Vivian de las Cuevas-Diaz, a lawyer recruited to the firm, said she had been reluctant to accept a long-standing offer but changed her mind after hearing Rubio’s pitch. Over lunch, she recalled, Rubio acknowledged that Broad and Cassel had not kept pace with Miami’s economic and ethnic transformation. But he said the firm would be a good home for an ambitious young lawyer. “He said it would be a great state platform” to build visibility and a client base, said de las Cuevas-Diaz, now a partner with Holland & Knight.
As he became speaker, Rubio still made time to talk with the lawyer he had helped recruit.
“I find it incredible that it didn’t matter what was going on — when I said I needed something, he was always available,” she said.
Rubio continued to work at the firm for the two years he was speaker, a term that started in November 2006.
In 2008, during his final months as speaker, Rubio’s income rose yet again — this time the result of a new teaching job at Florida International University, a large state school in Miami. The part-time position paid Rubio $69,000 a year.
Rubio’s private income got another boost shortly after he ended his two-year stint as speaker and left state office — signing on as a consultant for public hospitals he had recently championed as a lawmaker.
Rubio and a former aide signed consulting contracts worth $102,000 with Jackson Hospital Systems and $96,000 with Miami Children’s Hospital, according to Senate disclosure forms and interviews with Rubio aides.
Then came the 2010 campaign, when Rubio secured his spot as a national Republican star.
Fame followed, as did lucrative book deals — earning him at least $1.2 million, according to financial disclosure forms — and a chance to become president.
Alice Crites and Anu Narayanswamy contributed to this report. Story from Tom Hamburger for The Washington Post.