A New York Democratic lawmaker, who, last week, claimed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened his career if he did not help to “cover up” a scandal over Cuomo’s decision to send potentially COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes and adult care facilities, now says that he and his colleagues are “inching” toward a bipartisan impeachment probe against the governor.
Progressive Democratic New York Assemblyman Ron Kim claimed to CNN last Wednesday that Cuomo threatened his career 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,” The Daily Wire reported last week.
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The policy, which was rescinded just two months later, may have been responsible for thousands of COVID-19 deaths, particularly among vulnerable populations, including the elderly and the black community. 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, seemed to acknowledge to Yahoo that the federal probe centers around Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and that Cuomo is being investigated for “obstruction of justice.”
Kim said that “he has been told the investigation is focused in part on ‘obstruction of justice’ and that as part of that he is fully prepared to recount his phone call to federal authorities,” Yahoo News reported.
“Of course, I’m prepared to comply and spend as much time handing over as much evidence as they want,” he said. “I expect many of us to be contacted very soon.”
Neither the FBI nor the US Attorney has commented on the case.