Breaking Monday evening, the United States Department of Justice has subpoenaed material in relation to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s memoir as part of an investigation into COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
A January 2021 report from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged nursing-home deaths may have been underreported by as much as half. In February, federal prosecutors began a criminal investigation into Cuomo’s management of the nursing homes during the pandemic and its mandated lockdown.
The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York requested communications associated with Cuomo’s book, American Crisis. Materials included contracts and documents used during the pitching process to publishers.
People familiar with the case have suggested subpoenas were issued because prosecutors wanted to probe the details of the nursing home debacle discussed in the memoir. Among the individuals who received subpoenas for materials are state officials who aided the Governor in editing early versions of his book, the Wall Street Journal reported.
National Review writes, “the news of the subpoena comes after it was discovered that Cuomo’s book, which covered New York’s response to the COVID crisis, was positioned to earn $5.1 million…Cuomo reportedly secured $3.21 million in 2020, and he is set to receive an additional $2 to be paid out over the next two years, state officials told the New York Times.”
Scandal upon scandal has clouded over Cuomo recently. Multiple allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace have been made against him, as well as an April inquiry opened to determine if he unlawfully abused state resources for his book.
Resources, such as staffers, are alleged to have been used by the Governor unlawfully in order to draft and promote the book after State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli sent a formal referral letter to James saying evidence against Cuomo warranted a criminal investigation.
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