New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is celebrating the US Department of Justice’s decision to drop an investigation into its policy that sent COVID-19 patients to nursing homes. But with several other investigations underway, the legal position of the Democratic governor is still unclear.
The Ministry of Justice announcement On July 17, he would not investigate Cuomo’s March 2020 order forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, prompting the governor to hold a press conference in which he called allegations that his order caused deaths “outrageous”.
At least 4,000 nursing home residents died while the governor’s order was active, according to a report of New York Attorney General Letitia James, the New York State Department of Health knowingly underestimating deaths in nursing homes, as first reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Although the Justice Department has dropped its investigation, Cuomo faces several other inquiries related to his nursing home order, as well as allegations of corruption and sexual harassment.
âThe governor is absolutely not out of the woods,â said Rep. Lee Zeldin, RN.Y. Fox and his friends Wednesday.
Cuomo is under the law investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, along with the FBI, for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides the nursing home ordinance itself, the governor is under scrutiny for refusing to release data on deaths in nursing homes, a move he blamed on fears of political retaliation from then-President Donald Trump, and for silence health officials who have attempted to report specific numbers of deaths.
“There is evidence that our governor and his administration went to great lengths to cover up the true death toll,” Janice Dean, Fox News senior meteorologist and outspoken Cuomo critic following the death of her in-laws in New York nursing homes, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Governor also faces James probe on allegations of sexual harassment made by five women, one of whom said Cuomo groped her.
âCuomo knows the AG report will be devastating. This is why he is working to reduce the AG’s investigation into multiple credible allegations of sexual harassment as a simple political coup, âsaid Ron Kim, Member of the New York State Assembly. tweeted.
New York State Assembly launched its own impeachment probe in March, investigating Cuomo Nursing Home policy as well as allegations of sexual harassment and potential embezzlement.
Despite the scrutiny Cuomo faces, it’s unclear what, if any, will remain. Some argue that criminal investigations are unlikely to lead to prosecution and that allegations of sexual assault are the route of least resistance.
âThe nursing home tragedy involves many people, many layers and, in my opinion, is criminal, but Democrats probably think it is easier to get him into the #metoo behavior than it is to start really digging the corruption and lies of the retirement homes, âDean said.
“If meaningful action is to be taken, it will be by authorities in New York State – and, in particular, Attorney General Letitia James,” wrote Andrew McCarthy, senior researcher at the National Review Institute. National exam.
However, the investigation by the Attorney General ran into obstacles. Cuomo Free in March to provide staff who were to be interviewed by investigators with outside lawyers hired by the governor’s office. Some critics say this was intended to prevent staff members from speaking honestly with investigators.
“I think it’s meant to intimidate and tell people that you are sticking to company scripts or not talking at all,” said Senator Andrew Gournades, a Democrat. CNN at the time, saying the offer had a “chilling effect” on staff members’ cooperation with investigators.
Councilor Cuomo Rich Azzopardi argued that James has a “transparent political motive” in the investigation, hinting that the Democratic attorney general may use the investigation to bolster his profile for a potential gubernatorial candidacy.
Meanwhile, the state assembly’s impeachment inquiry has drawn criticism from lawmakers and outsiders, with many accusing the assembly of deliberately dragging its feet and intentionally underfunding its team of lawmakers. ‘investigation.
âFrom what I learned last year from covering this story, New York politics is as corrupt as it comes,â Dean said. “The impeachment inquiry has been a sham from the start with lockdowns and Democratic politicians too scared to oppose Cuomo.”
A Democratic politician, Senatorial Minority Leader Rob Ortt, expressed similar thoughts.
âIt appears to be nothing more than a delay tactic or to provide cover to say that we are doing something but that we are really not doing anything,â Ortt said. Spectrum News in May.
Assembly in April allocated only $ 250,000 to Davis Polk & Wardwell, the law firm hired to investigate Cuomo, enough for three weeks of work, according to the New York Post. The company was to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment as well as the nursing home order and the alleged cover-up.
“It’s indicative of a lack of seriousness,” Cam Macdonald, member of the Empire Center for Public Policy, told the Daily Caller News Foundation of the law firm’s budget.
The assembly has started issue summonses to appear only at the end of June, more than three months after the start of the investigation. No charges of impeachment have been laid, and the slowness of the Assembly and its infrequent meetings have deferred the progress of the probe.
“If someone was politically motivated to remove the governor, there wouldn’t be much to stop them from drafting charges,” Macdonald said.
FBI and Eastern District Criminal Investigation, formerly led by Trump-appointed Seth DuCharme, has been taken over by Biden appointed Mark Lesko in March. Lesko was replaced by Jacquelyn Kasulis in June.
“My own hunch is that the pigs will fly before the Biden administration takes action against the Cuomo administration,” McCarthy wrote in National Review.
As a criminal investigation, the investigation is expected to find evidence that Cuomo broke the law, which some observers say could be difficult.
âI think it’s a bit of a stretch to find anything criminal in there, no matter how bad it is,â Macdonald said. âAre there situations where people have civil lawsuits against the governor? Now it is possible.
Dean agreed that it would be difficult to prove criminal behavior, adding, “We will probably never get justice for the deaths of our loved ones.”
Cuomo’s office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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