But senior House Republicans want nothing to do with Grimm. They worry the man who once threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony, and brandished a gun during a nightclub altercation with his lady companion’s estranged husband, will be a major distraction to their legislative agenda. Grimm could also provide Democrats with ample fodder to flip the swing district.

House Republicans argue that Donovan is a productive member of the GOP conference and deserves to stay — though privately some of them worry that Grimm, who remains popular back home, could prevail.

“I support Dan Donovan — plain and simple,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday.

Grimm declined to comment for this story. But in a recent interview with Breitbart, Grimm portrayed himself as a victim of a vengeful Obama administration, a claim he also made before his guilty plea in April 2014.

“I called on [then-Attorney General] Eric Holder as a freshman to resign, and then it came back to bite me,” Grimm said. “I was told that they made a deal with [then-U.S. Attorney] Loretta Lynch, that if she could take me down on anything, if she could find anything, she would be put to the top of this short list for attorney general. Two months after my bogus sham indictment, she is the attorney general of the United States.”

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