Welcome back to the Love Nisa blog! It’s a big news day today, so this probably won’t be the last time you hear from me. Let’s get to the news!
Breaking early this morning, an article by Ronan Farrow was published in The New Yorker. Titled, “Andrew Cuomo’s War Against a Federal Prosecutor,” the article steps away from the allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment that have been made public by Farrow, other reporters, and the New York Attorney General’s investigation that we wrote about last week. Instead, it focuses on a different kind of misconduct, corruption.
The opening anecdote has Gov. Cuomo calling one of President Obama’s senior advisors, Valerie Jarrett, on the topic of the Moreland Commission, a group Cuomo himself had created to investigate corruption in New York state politics. When Cuomo disbanded the commission, then US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara decided to look into it. Cuomo’s call to the White House was to ask them to have Bharara back off, since he was part of the federal court system, Cuomo is quoted saying to that advisor, “He’s your guy.” Immediately panicked by the implications of the conversation, and knowing that any attempt to influence the investigation by the White House could bring criminal obstruction of justice charges, Jarrett ended the phone call as quickly as possible and walked to the White House counsel’s office. That call alone could have added onto the impeachment case that was planned before Cuomo resigned this morning, and in itself may have been an impeachable offense.
The article also focuses on the way the Moreland Commission was handled back in 2014, with two women who served on the commission, Dayna Perry and now US Rep. Kathleen Rice detailing Cuomo’s interference with the commission. Perry was quoted saying, “He did not want an investigation into his own dark-money contributions.” and Rice accused him of pulling subpoenas that were set to be sent out to friends and supporters of his. Neither Perry nor Rice had felt safe enough to come out with this information until recently due to the threat of ruined careers and the fear tactics and intimidation Cuomo is now famous for. Both women were hesitant to join the Moreland Commission in the first place, knowing from previous experiences that Cuomo’s commissions were often interfered with, but ultimately were convinced to join. Farrow goes on to detail the heavy interference Cuomo pursued within the Commission, as well as the lengths to which Perry and Rice went to salvage investigation materials as rumors that Cuomo would disband the investigation began to swirl.
Shortly after the article was published in The New Yorker this morning, Gov. Cuomo announced his resignation effective in 14 days. What does this mean for the people of New York? Well, New York law states that if a Governor resigns, the Lieutenant Governor takes their place. Which means that NY Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hotchul will become New York’s first female governor 14 days from now. Cuomo’s resignation comes as a surprise to many, seeing that, in the face of 11 women claiming sexual assault and misconduct against him, Cuomo stood strong and refused to resign, but a welcome surprise at that. In a Marist Poll from last week, 63% of New York voters wanted Cuomo to resign, and 59% believed that if he didn’t resign he should be impeached, with only 29% wanting him to finish his term. Cuomo’s resignation is a win for victims of sexual abuse and assault across the country, and a great example of citizens holding the people who represent them accountable for their actions.
Read the New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow:
Written by Marianna Pecora