Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants an investigation into his alleged sexual improprieties with members of his staff, but he wants it on his own terms. Late last week, he wanted to appoint former U.S. Judge Barbara Jones to conduct the investigation. But the New York Attorney General Letitia James is crying foul. She believes she and her office must control the inquiry into Cuomo’s alleged lewd behavior.
There were legitimate reasons to be concerned about the appointment of Jones. She was a law firm partner of a top Cuomo ally and by Sunday Cuomo scrapped the plan in favor of another scheme in which James and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals Janet Difiore (another Cuomo ally) would together choose an independent investigator.
It’s still no dice, as James tweeted Sunday that she does not accept the new plan. She wants control. One can see why this makes the governor a little nervous.
To clarify, I do not accept the governor’s proposal.
The state’s Executive Law clearly gives my office the authority to investigate this matter once the governor provides a referral.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 28, 2021
It was James, after all, who released the report on New York nursing homes that highly suggested Cuomo had massively undercounted deaths in the facilities following his order to put COVID-positive elderly back in them. Put simply, James is not in Cuomo’s pocket. In fact, James and leftist Democratic allies in the Empire State seem almost giddy about going after the governor.
Cuomo, the bullying scion of New York politics, knows a bit about being the attorney general of the state. He held that job from 2007 until 2010. In that time, he insisted investigations into then governors Eliot Spitzer and David Patterson be handled by his AG office. It is difficult not to take a cynical view of his sudden change of heart now that he is the one in hot water.
This is not a complicated situation. Obviously Cuomo should not be involved in selecting who investigates him on these allegations from two women, nor in any investigation that may stem from his handling of nursing homes. It’s an absurd proposition that flies in the face of justice. It is the kind of thing that had Donald Trump even talked about would have sent the corporate media into frenzied talk of fascism.
There is some music to be faced here, and Cuomo is not going to be allowed to provide the sheet music. As it turns out, despite his laughable star turn as America’s greatest Emmy award-winning governor, there are a lot of Democrats in New York who simply can’t stand the guy. This has been an open secret for years. Now we can scratch the “secret” part.
James’s tweet on Sunday is perhaps the clearest indication we have had yet about how deep Cuomo’s problems have become. Even the corporate media now seem ready to throw him under the bus like a cigarette butt. The governor is quickly running out of allies or people to turn to. His political dusk is starting to look like political midnight.
I suppose there is poetry in this, or at least irony. How fast the mighty fall. How tenuous the scaffold of power is. Back in 2002, The Onion ran a headline that said, “School Bully Not So Tough After Being Molested.” It reminds me of Cuomo’s situation even though he is the one being accused of molestation. Every day just seems to get worse for him.
Cuomo needs allies right now, but there don’t seem to be many. Even Joe Biden, who praised him to the high heavens last year, seems to want an off ramp. Oh how the mighty have fallen. But hey, at least Emmy awards are forever.