Federal investigators are reportedly closing in on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and nursing home facilities in the Empire State.
The new development comes as Cuomo faces increased scrutiny — including bipartisan calls to resign — over allegations of sexual misconduct by numerous women.
What are the details?
According to the New York Times, federal investigators are probing whether Cuomo's administration provided false information to the Justice Department last year that intentionally downplayed the grave nursing home situation.
More from the Times:
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have contacted lawyers for Mr. Cuomo's aides, interviewed senior officials from the state Health Department and subpoenaed Mr. Cuomo's office for documents related to the disclosure of data last year, the people said.
The interviews have included questions about information New York State submitted last year to the Justice Department, which had asked the state for data on Covid-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes, according to the people. False statements in such a submission could constitute a crime.
The New York Post confirmed the reporting.
"The probe, which is being overseen by the Eastern District of New York, opened with interviews of senior members of Cuomo's coronavirus task force but now is looking at Cuomo and his most senior aides as well," the Post reported.
What is the background?
The FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office launched an investigation into New York's nursing home deaths last month over allegations that Cuomo's administration manipulated data to avoid political fallout.
Cuomo defended his administration by claiming that New York officials "fully and publicly reported all COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and hospitals."
"There is nothing to investigate," Cuomo claimed last month.
However, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced in January that an investigation discovered New York's nursing home resident death toll could be at least 50% higher than what state officials admitted because they had only counted residents who died inside nursing home facilities — not residents who died after being transported to a hospital.
The New York Times reported in early March the actual number of long-term facility residents who died from COVID-19 in New York stands at more than 15,000.
Shockingly, Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Cuomo, told New York Democrats last month that Cuomo's administration hid data on New York nursing homes after then-President Donald Trump began pressuring Cuomo on social media last summer.