Gov. Andrew Cuomo was grilled for about 11 hours over the sexual-misconduct allegations against him as part of a probe by state Attorney General Letitia James, a report said Monday.
The governor was questioned last month by investigators working for James’ office — and lawyers involved in the probe also toured the Executive Mansion as well as Cuomo’s offices in Albany, where some of the alleged misconduct took place, the Wall Street Journal said.
Cuomo’s interview in a Midtown office building lasted about 11 hours, the New York Times added.
He was grilled by two lead investigators, including former federal prosecutor Joon Kim — who Cuomo accused of having it out for him because of Kim’s involvement in previous investigations of the governor’s administration, the Times said.
The other investigator involved in the questioning was employment lawyer Anne Clark, the outlet said.
A source familiar with the Cuomo team’s thinking told the Post Monday night that while the governor’s camp believes the sitdown went well, “he’s smart enough to understand you don’t know what you don’t know.”
The Journal reported that the probe is expected to conclude this month, with a report to be released soon after. The source close to Cuomo told the Post that the investigation will likely be wrapped up by Labor Day.
At least eight women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, including unwanted touching and making inappropriate remarks. Four of Cuomo’s accusers were issued subpoenas in May to testify in the AG’s inquiry.
The governor requested the attorney general’s office look into the allegations in March and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Cuomo declined to comment on the investigation Monday, telling reporters: “I said I will cooperate with it, and at the appropriate time, I will comment on the review. But this is not the appropriate time yet.”
“The continued press leaks from this investigation provide further evidence about the documented bias of these reviewers,” the governor’s senior adviser, Rich Azzopardi, told the Post Monday evening.
Despite the governor’s silence, a source from Cuomo’s camp said he is irked by Kim’s involvement in the probe.
“There’s clearly frustration that someone close to [former Manhattan US Attorney] Preet Bharara is leading the investigation,” the source said.
Bharara oversaw the investigation that led to the 2016 arrest of Cuomo confidante Joe Percoco and other associates in a bid-rigging scandal connected to Cuomo’s key upstate economic development program, known as the Buffalo Billion.
Percoco was convicted in 2018 of soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars bribes, as well as conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The source told the Post “ill will” remains over the way Bharara treated Cuomo, who was not accused of any wrongdoing.
“They were aggressively looking at things [involving the governor],” said the source.
After Page Six reported last month that Team Cuomo had spread the word that Bharara was testing the waters ahead of a possible run for governor next year, the former prosecutor called the rumors “kind of demented.”
“For what it’s worth, based on my experience over a number of years in the state of New York and as US attorney, there is no way on earth that people around Andrew Cuomo — spokespeople, allies, those speaking on the record, off the record — are making any of these statements, including the lies about me, without the direct approval and or direction of Andrew Cuomo himself,” Politico quoted Bharara as saying on a recent episode of his podcast, “Stay Tuned with Preet.”
“That you can take to the bank,” he added.
The findings from James’ probe are expected to be taken into consideration by Albany lawmakers helming an impeachment investigation of Cuomo, which is also looking at the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly its policy toward nursing homes, and the $5.1M book deal the governor received for his pandemic-era memoir “American Crisis.”
“I believe that it should be part of the Assembly’s review, but I don’t know if the report itself, alone, without the conclusion of the Judiciary Committee’s work, should rise to an action,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) told the Journal of the coming report from James.
The Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office is also conducting its own inquiry into both the nursing-home policy and the book deal.
The Justice Department said last week it would not investigate a controversial state order that mandated nursing homes accept coronavirus patients last spring.
The order has been blamed for the deaths of thousands of senior citizens in the early months of the pandemic.
In January, James’ office issued a report that found at least 4,000 state nursing home residents died after the order was issued on March 25, 2020. After the report was released, State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker begrudgingly disclosed data that put the tally of confirmed and presumed deaths in both nursing homes and hospitals at 12,743 between March 2020 and mid-January of this year.
A rep for James’ office declined to comment to the Post. The governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
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