New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has been authorized to investigate whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) misused state resources in the writing of his book about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York Times reports:
The potential investigation follows a March 31 report in The New York Times and subsequent reporting in other publications that detailed how junior staff members and senior aides worked on “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,” the governor’s dramatic retelling of the battle against the virus. […] The potential inquiry would center on “any indictable offense or offenses” involving, but not limited to, “the drafting, editing, sale and promotion of the governor’s book and any related financial or business transactions,” according to an April 13 letter that Mr. DiNapoli sent to Ms. James. […] Mr. Cuomo on Monday reiterated that some members of his staff had volunteered to work on the book, and that some were also asked to review passages that mentioned them.
The development is the latest headache Cuomo, who faces twin investigations over his handling of nursing home data during the pandemic and allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted touching from multiple women.
James recently launched an independent probe into the Cuomo harassment scandal, while the New York State Assembly is in the early stages of an impeachment probe into the allegations. Leading New York Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, have called on Cuomo to resign in the wake of the sexual misconduct claims.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint statement on March 14. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”
Thus far, Cuomo has defied calls for his resignation and repeatedly denied all allegations go wrongdoing.
“I never harassed anyone, I never assaulted anyone, I never abused anyone,” Cuomo has stated. “I’m not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) announced a bid for governor, declaring the time has come to end New York state’s “one-party Democrat rule” under Cuomo.
“[Cuomo] is under multiple investigations. There is a very weakened state of the governor, right now, that is leading to even worse policies getting passed in Albany because he has an inability to fight back. This Assembly has the leverage over him because they have the impeachment investigation on top of it all that’s being launched, right now,” Zeldin told Breitbart News.