FBI Zeroes In On New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Aides; Another Accuser Comes Forward: Reports

The FBI reportedly has its sights set on New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo and his aides in an investigation into his handling of nursing homes in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the investigation has focused in recent weeks on the governor and his aides and whether they provided false information to the Department of Justice about the number of deaths that occurred in nursing homes.“Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have contacted lawyers for Mr. Cuomo’s aides, interviewed senior officials from the state Health Department and subpoenaed Mr. Cuomo’s office for documents related to the disclosure of data last year, the people said,” the Times reported. “The interviews have included questions about information New York State submitted last year to the Justice Department, which had asked the state for data on Covid-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes, according to the people. False statements in such a submission could constitute a crime.”

Cuomo’s nursing home scandal exploded in late January after state Attorney General Letitia James announced that the number of nursing home deaths could be more than 50 percent higher than what Cuomo’s administration reported. The New York Post reported a couple of weeks later an explosive video conference call where Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, “privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them ‘we froze’ out of fear that the true numbers would ‘be used against us’ by federal prosecutors.” The Times reported that DeRosa and other aides allegedly altered a report from state health officials in June about how many seniors had died in nursing homes.

The Times noted that the FBI has traveled to nursing homes across the state gathering information while interviewing other individuals involved with the case over the phone. “Federal investigators also started questioning state officials this month about a provision in last year’s state budget that gave legal protections to hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic,” the Times added. “Investigators’ questions about the nursing home provision were first reported by The City, a local nonprofit newsroom.”The news comes as Cuomo faces another scandal involving claims of alleged sexual misconduct that have been made against him by several women, including some who worked for him.

The Times reported separately:

The scandal that has engulfed the governor, leading most of the state’s Democratic leaders to call for his resignation, began with the accounts of two former employees, Lindsey Boylan, a former economic development official, and Charlotte Bennett, an executive assistant and senior briefer.

On Friday, another accuser came forward and alleged that Cuomo sexually harassed her at work and had a “pattern of the governor mixing flirtatious banter with more personal comments, as well as a subtle and persistent cultivation of competitive relationships between female co-workers in his office.”

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