Friday, August 1, 2014

U.S. Attorney warns Cuomo against witness tampering

From the NY Times:

In an escalation of the confrontation between the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the governor’s cancellation of his own anticorruption commission, Mr. Bharara has threatened to investigate the Cuomo administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering.

The warning, in a sharply worded letter from Mr. Bharara’s office, came after several members of the panel issued public statements defending the governor’s handling of the panel, known as the Moreland Commission, which Mr. Cuomo created last year with promises of cleaning up corruption in state politics but shut down abruptly in March.

Mr. Bharara’s office has been investigating the shutdown of the commission, and pursuing its unfinished corruption cases, since April.

In the letter, sent late Wednesday afternoon to a lawyer for the panel, prosecutors alluded to a number of statements made by its members on Monday, which generally defended Mr. Cuomo’s handling of the commission. The statements were released on the same day Mr. Cuomo first publicly responded to a report in The New York Times that described how he and his aides had compromised the commission’s work.

At least some of those statements were prompted by calls from the governor or his emissaries, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation who were unwilling to be named for fear of reprisal.

One commissioner who received a call from an intermediary on behalf of the governor’s office said he found the call upsetting and declined to make a statement.

The letter from prosecutors, which was read to The New York Times, says, “We have reason to believe a number of commissioners recently have been contacted about the commission’s work, and some commissioners have been asked to issue public statements characterizing events and facts regarding the commission’s operation.”

“To the extent anyone attempts to influence or tamper with a witness’s recollection of events relevant to our investigation, including the recollection of a commissioner or one of the commission’s employees, we request that you advise our office immediately, as we must consider whether such actions constitute obstruction of justice or tampering with witnesses that violate federal law.”


Anonymous said...

Andrew Cuomo is a typical Queens politician. He will say and do anything to cover up the acts of his staff, his friends and certainly himself in order to advance his own personal political career.

He comes from a cesspool of corruption and the voters are just enamored of his celebrity. they vote for him because the know his name. If his name was Andrew Moore he's be just another palooka from Queens.

Certainly he does not improve the state, has not, will not.

Anonymous said...

He'll probably be reelected again if he doesn't resign or go to jail. 60 percent of the people who vote in ny are foreigners or illegals and you know they will keep electing the same politicians into office because these politicians allow these people to break every law so why would any of these illegals or foreigners vote any of these scum bags out of office?

Anonymous said...

His smug attitude is finally being challenged. Can't wait to see him wiggle out of this. Although, the way NY politics works, he will probably get away with it.

Anonymous said...

My, what a tangled web one weaves.

Anonymous said...

"Fish begin to stink at the head"

Anonymous said...

hang em high!

georgetheatheist said...

Go, Preet, Go!

Anonymous said...

Don't ever let the NY papers forget they endorsed this megalomaniac just because the other guy was Republican. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Remember that this is the guy who communicates with staff--if he uses e-mail at all, he prefers (untapped) phones--with his personal account so that there are no records on state servers.

This is the guy who issued a "gag order" to everyone in state agencies, so that no one may speak to the press unless they have a public relations "minder" with them (remember the highway guy who was fired upstate for saying GOOD things about what his department was doing?)

This is the guy who is all about controlling the message in order to manage his image.

As George said, "Go, Preet, go."

Anonymous said...

Eliot would still be Governor if he kept his pecker in his pants.

Anonymous said...

New sfacime, same old scheme

Anonymous said...

One of the alleged reasons for Cuomo to disband the anti-corruption Moreland Commission is that the Commission was investigating alleged bribes given to Giulio Cavallo, the head of the Westchester Independence Party, in exchange for his giving the Independence Party endorsement to various candidates. These alleged bribes consisted of alleged "no show" jobs that he received in exchange for giving his endorsements. Isn't it strange that Cuomo got the Independence Party endorsement relatively shortly after he disbanded the Moreland Commission? Doesn't it sound like a quid quo pro for the Independence Party line? Just asking. Didn't Serf Maltese give this man what appeared to be a "no show" job several years ago in exchange for him giving the Independence Party endorsement to Nick Spano, a Republican State Senate Candidate with a strong challenge, where the Independence Party line could provide the difference. Just asking. And, if Maltese did this, why isn't this "Giant of the Senate" held accountable in some fashion? Just asking.