A New York Democratic lawmaker who exposed New York governor Andrew Cuomo for threatening his career if he did not help to “cover up” Cuomo’s nursing home scandal, claims that he and his colleagues are growing closer to a bipartisan impeachment probe against the governor.
Progressive Democratic New York Assemblyman Ron Kim initially claimed to CNN last Wednesday that Cuomo threatened to end Kim’s political ambitions if he did not help “cover up” allegations that Cuomo’s staff deliberately “concealed the full extent of nursing home-related deaths during the Covid pandemic.”
Now, Kim told Yahoo News, that “support is building within the state legislature to begin an impeachment investigation.”
“It will take a little time to build that consensus, but every day we are inching toward the impeachment process,” he told Yahoo News’ podcast.
“He estimated that, along with ‘virtually all’ Republicans, between 25 and 30 Democratic legislators currently support an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo — a number he suggested is growing steadily.”
Wednesday night, the Albany Times-Union reported that the FBI, in partnership with the United States Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, has opened an investigation into the Cuomo administration, reportedly tied to Cuomo’s order, made early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring nursing homes and other adult care facilities accept recovering coronavirus patients, even if they might still be contagious.
The murderous policy was responsible for thousands of COVID-19 deaths, particularly among vulnerable populations, including the elderly and the black community – and took months for the Democrat leader of the state to rescind.
Although the mainstream media largely ignored claims that Cuomo’s nursing home policy may have contributed to New York’s status as the epicenter of the American COVID-19 pandemic as they were being made over the summer, in early February, a senior Cuomo aide reportedly told Democrats that the state had deliberately downplayed the number of nursing home deaths so as to elude a federal investigation.
Cuomo has since fallen under sharp criticism from both parties and, last week, New York Democrats hit back at Cuomo, moving to strip the governor of his emergency pandemic powers pending the outcome of the reported Federal investigation.
“Stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers granted during the COVID-19 outbreak would be a stunning rebuke of the governor’s handling of the pandemic by his party allies in the state legislature, according to The New York Times,” the Daily Wire reported last week. “A vote on the motion to strip the governor of emergency authority could come as soon” as this week.
Kim, for his part, said, “Of course, I’m prepared to comply and spend as much time handing over as much evidence as they want. I expect many of us to be contacted very soon.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, meanwhile, refused to state during an interview on Sunday whether President Joe Biden still considers New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to be the “gold standard” for governors when it comes to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as he had previously claimed.
“So, now we’ve seen that Governor Cuomo has allegedly undercounted nursing home deaths, misled legislators in New York, and he called New York assemblyman in Ron Kim, raising questions, you know, basically threatening to destroy him, I think was his actual words,” ABC News host Jonathan Karl said. “So does President Biden still consider Andrew Cuomo the gold standard when it comes to leadership on the pandemic?”
“Well, Jon, we work with Governor Cuomo, just like we work with governors across the country,” Psaki responded. “He’s also chair of the NGA. So he’s plays an important role in ensuring that we’re coordinating closely and getting assistance out to people of his state and to states across the country.”
“And we’ll continue to do that. And there, of course, will be a process … investigations, we’ll leave that to others to determine, the appropriate law enforcement authorities to determine how that path is going to move as we look forward, but we are going to continue to work with a range of governors, including, of course, Governor Cuomo, because we think the people of New York, the people of states across the country, need assistance, not just to get through the pandemic, but to get through this difficult economic time,” she added. “And that’s that’s where our focus remains.”
“Alright, but Jen, my question was, does President Biden still believe that Andrew Cuomo is the gold standard, represents the gold standard, on leadership during this pandemic?” Karl pressed. “Just a yes or no.”
“Well, Jon, the president, the president, well, it doesn’t always have to be a yes or no answer, Jon,” she responded before rambling on some more while dancing around the answer.