As weeks have stretched into months and the dark cloud over New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s head has continued to grow ever-larger and more ominous, one thing remains crystal clear: while multiple New York members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats — along with New York State Republican lawmakers and a growing number of State Democrat lawmakers — have demanded he resign or be impeached and convicted, the Luv Guv as defiantly declared on a number occasions he’s “not going anywhere.”
Now, finally, New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor Michael Goodwin — Goodwin is not on Andy’s Christmas card list –is pretty sure Cuomo is indeed going somewhere, and probably sooner than later.
In a Tuesday op-ed for the Post titled “The Walls Close in Around Andrew Cuomo,” Goodman described the three-term NY governor as an “extreme micromanager” who is surrounded by a “small band” of loyal aides, most of whom are a generation younger than him.
“They are essentially on call 24/7,” wrote Goodwin, “and are involved in all aspects of his job, from running the executive branch to dealing with legislators and the media.
Goodman said it’s an understatement to describe top Cuomo aides as “fiercely-loyal.”
“Cuomo demands total fealty and their approach to the world was once described by Steven Cohen, a longtime Cuomo aide, and friend, as simple: ‘We operate at two speeds here: Get along and kill.'”
And here’s where the plot now thickens, believes the columnist who has been all over Andrew Cuomo like Michael Moore on a side of beef — rare, of course.
Those loyalties are now facing a crucial test. Growing out of the two major investigations into Cuomo’s conduct, dozens of people in the executive office, including the inner circle, recently received subpoenas.
Being forced to produce official documents and give testimony under oath to government agents tends to clarify priorities, and even die hard loyalists will tell the whole truth instead of risking a perjury rap. The subpoenas thus represent a new dimension of the probes and create serious new threats to Cuomo’s hold on his office.
The subpoenas, which include demands for testimony and documents, are coming as the result of an FBI investigation into whether Cuomo illegally withheld nursing home fatalities from the Department of Justice and an investigation by the office of Democrat Attorney General Letitia James into the numerous sexual harassment allegations. For those of you keeping score at home, the number of accusers now stands at nine.
The FBI probe presents greater legal jeopardy for Cuomo, because “the prospect of criminal conduct is more pronounced, wrote Goodwin: “There is no doubt Cuomo’s team lied about nursing home deaths and withheld the truth by changing an official Health Department report.” Goodwin laid out one scenario in which a Cuomo aide could throw the governor under the bus in a heartbeat.
“Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, admitted the state withheld the total deaths because it was afraid the feds would ‘use it against us.’ She said that in a call to legislators she believed was private, but after The Post obtained a recording and published her comments, the FBI opened its case. Whether the actions constitute a crime is the issue.
“Consider a likely interrogation scenario: DeRosa, under oath, is asked by the FBI about changes to the official report and her remarks on the phone call. Agents and prosecutors, armed with Health Department documents and sworn testimony from aides who leaked the scheme to the media, ask why the report was changed and why DOJ got inaccurate numbers.”
“They also want to know who was involved in those decisions,” said Goodwin: “Did the governor give her any orders? What were they?”
Goodwin goes on to lay out other scenarios that could finally prove fatal to Cuomo’s governorship, including potential damning testimony from New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. What might he say under oath about hiding nursing home deaths? What do internal documents show, including texts and emails?
Investigators now appear to be moving quickly, Cuomo noted, including these two realities:
“Former state aide Charlotte Bennett, who accused Cuomo of propositioning her for sex, says she spent four hours answering questions on March 15th and turned over 100 pages of supporting documents. Accuser Ana Liss met with the same team three days later.
“Sherry Vill, who went public Monday with her claim that Cuomo kissed her repeatedly without permission, already has a date with investigators, her lawyer said Tuesday.”
And there’s plenty more material in Goodwin’s piece to suggest that not only Andrew Cuomo’s reign as governor of New York might end sooner than later, but also that he can kiss goodbye any future in politics he has dreamed about in his self-aggrandizing head.
And those charges of inappropriate sexual behavior, all of which have dominated Cuomo news as the number continued to increase? Goodwin suggested the following, potentially-problematic question that might be asked — and answered — under oath:
“DeRosa might be asked what she knows about Cuomo’s fondness for some female assistants and their being summoned to his home. Were male aides ever summoned for such tasks?
“A number of women have said they were told to wear fashionable clothes, heels and lipstick. Who told them how to dress? Did the governor have any role?
“Also, media reports recount stories of women Cuomo met at events or parties getting a phone call, offering them a job in his office even though they never applied. Agents might ask other aides who told them to find the women and offer them a job? Were they told why the governor wanted to hire them?
“We were told from the beginning that was a typical move of his,” said Alyssa McGrath, one of Cuomo’s accusers: “Who was the girl of the week? Who was the girl of the month?”
One thing now seems certain. Contrary to Andrew Cuomo’s continuing defiant claim that he’s “not going anywhere, ” it finally appears that yes, yes Gov. Cuomo, you are. The only question that remains is whether you will ultimately resign as those walls closing in around you are right before your eyes, or you are indeed dragged out of the governor’s office, kicking and screaming the entire way.
On one hand, Cuomo has the choice to hold onto a microscopic shred of decency by walking out rather than being dragged out. Besides, if he refuses and is ultimately dragged out of office, he will forever have lost the impeachment game to his “arch-enemy” — other than NYC’s hapless mayor, Bill de Blasio — Donald Trump.
Incidentally, this was a perfect cherry atop the Andrew Cuomo sundae, don’t you think? Other than the “shock,” I mean.
“Sources told the Times Union and Washington Post that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) instructed state health officials to “prioritize” coronavirus testing for members of his family, including his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.”
Fredo was unavailable for comment.
Yup, Andy, you’d live in the infamy of having lost the Impeachment Sweepstakes to Trump, 2-0. And how much fun would that be for the rest of us?
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