Former U.S. Attorney: Gov. Cuomo’s Scandal is “Perhaps Criminal”

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In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, former Acting U.S. Attorney General for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division John B. Daukas said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s woes may go well beyond the political. After one of his top aides admitted that the Cuomo administration withheld nursing home death numbers because they were afraid they would be “used against us,” the governor found himself in a position where criminal charges could be filed against him.

In the op-ed, Daukas said that, according to federal statues, Cuomo’s actions during the pandemic weren’t “merely negligent, but intentional and perhaps criminal.”

“Even if it cannot be proved that the Cuomo administration knowingly provided false information to Justice and the (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), New York’s willful failure to provide information may itself constitute a criminal offense—particularly if the intent was to thwart a federal investigation—which, after all, is exactly what Ms. DeRosa reportedly said the administration did,” Daukas wrote.

Daukas isn’t the only one suggesting that Cuomo’s aide’s admission could put the governor’s office in danger of an obstruction of justice charge.

“If it is true that Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa admitted to lawmakers that the state misrepresented the number of deaths in nursing homes to avoid having the data ‘used against us’ in a Department of Justice probe, then DeRosa appears to have confessed to a potential obstruction charge. If there were others, including Cuomo, who knowingly participated in concealing the truth this could constitute a conspiracy to obstruct,” wrote Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett.

“The Cuomo administration has suggested that the reporting of the incorrect death figures occurred before the initial DOJ investigation was launched sometime in mid-2020,” Jarrett continued. “That is irrelevant.  Under the federal statute, a person can be found guilty of obstructing a ‘potential or pending investigation.’”

Buyoed by the press’s undying flattery last year, Cuomo actually released a book patting himself on the back for keeping New York’s death toll to “only” 46,000 people. That book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic,” is destined to become an ironic classic in the years to come. There are certainly lessons to be learned from Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, but we strongly doubt they can be found in the pages of his book.

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