Even as a Senate impeachment trial against former Donald Trump wraps up, a prominent Democratic official is facing calls for his ouster.
Following the latest shocking revelations in an ongoing scandal involving New York’s nursing home population, critics of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo are pushing for his resignation or impeachment.
“Basically, we froze”
The effort stems from a recent report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which indicates that the Cuomo administration underreported the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents by as much as 50%.
In the wake of that revelation, Cuomo appeared to avoid serious repercussions, at one point even asking “who cares” where the infected patients ultimately died.
Earlier this week, however, the controversy intensified after it was discovered that top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admitted to an attempt to downplay the actual death toll. She reportedly made the acknowledgment during a private conversation with state lawmakers, though she attempted to blame the coverup on former President Donald Trump.
“He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer,” DeRosa said. “And basically, we froze.”
She went on to argue that “we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”
“She covered stuff up”
Republican State Assemblyman Michael Montesano is among those who are now calling for a possible impeachment hearing against the governor.
“We’ve been calling for subpoenas and a hearing for quite a while,” he said on Friday. “This news of the last several days is extremely troubling to me and I’m going to be asking today for his resignation and I’m also going to be asking the legislature to look into, to explore filing articles of impeachment against the governor if he doesn’t resign.”
According to Montesano, there appears to be a criminal component in DeRosa’s latest acknowledgment.
“This is now criminal,” he declared. “The governor wants to talk about how our attacks on him are political. They’re not political, this we’ve had an inkling all the while that they were covering stuff up, and now she admitted that she covered stuff up because she knew the Department of Justice has an active investigation going on of the nursing home problems which a lot of us in the legislature, especially in the minority, requested that they do.”
For his part, the Cuomo administration released a statement on the matter, asserting: “We explained that the Trump administration was in the midst of a politically motivated effort to blame [Democratic] states for COVID deaths and that we were cooperating with Federal document productions and that was the priority and now that it is over we can address the state legislature. That said, we were working simultaneously to complete the audit of information they were asking for.”
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Author: Robert Ayers
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