What Crimes May Have Been Committed In Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal?

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Governor Cuomo
Governor Cuomo

News that the FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus task force in the deaths of thousands of nursing home patients and a suspected cover-up of the truth, invites the question: what crimes might have been committed?

Let’s begin with the obvious —obstruction of justice.

If it is true that Cuomo’s top aid Melissa DeRosa admitted to lawmakers that the state misrepresented the number of deaths in nursing homes to avoid having the data “used against us” in a Department of Justice probe, then DeRosa appears to have confessed to a potential obstruction charge.  If there were others, including Cuomo, who knowingly participated in concealing the truth this could constitute a conspiracy to obstruct.

The Cuomo administration has suggested that the reporting of the incorrect death figures occurred before the initial DOJ investigation was launched sometime in mid-2020.  That is irrelevant.  Under the federal statute, a person can be found guilty of obstructing a “potential or pending investigation.”

In other words, if a government official falsifies or hides evidence to avoid triggering an investigation (or acts out of fear that such a probe may occur) that official is still culpable under the law of obstruction.

What about the crime of defrauding the government?  In plain language this means cheating the government.  But fraud is not limited to causing monetary loss or property damage.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defrauding the government is also the act of interfering with “a lawful government function” such as investigations and the duty of a legislature to report truthful information to the public.

If Cuomo or anyone in his administration provided false information to the New York State legislature or to any agency of the federal government by deceitful and dishonest means, then the government has been defrauded.  Once again, the involvement of others in such a scheme or artifice would constitute a conspiracy to defraud the government.

Does the evidence discovered thus far support such charges?  It seems so.  New York Attorney General Letitia James offered the first evidence of allegedly falsified data when she revealed that Cuomo’s team underreported nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.  According to the Associated Press, nearly 15,000 nursing home patients died from the coronavirus —not approximately 8,500 deaths.

Then came the stunning admission by DeRosa in a private phone call with Democrat lawmakers that the numbers were doctored to shield against a federal investigation.

But what about the deaths themselves?  Could Cuomo be criminally charged for causing more than a thousand deaths when he issued an order on March 25, 2020 to send infected patients into nursing homes where elderly and infirm residents were most at risk of dying?  If Cuomo’s name was Trump, you can bet there would be a cacophony of calls for his criminal indictment for murder.

The Governor’s persistent and most vacuous excuse is that his decision was based on “President Trump’s CDC guidance.”  This is both absurd and demonstrably false.

In reality, murder is a stretch.  Standard definitions involve the intent to kill.  Being arrogant, uncaring, and making dumb decisions are not enough under the law and do not rise to the legal requirement of intent.

Nevertheless, there is a provision in New York law whereby second-degree murder is defined as reckless conduct “which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person.”  Involuntary manslaughter carries a similar reckless standard but with a lesser level of proof in its language.

Was Cuomo’s decision so wanton and reckless that it was foreseeable that vulnerable nursing home residents exposed to covid patients would die by the thousands?  In retrospect, perhaps.  But it would be an exceedingly difficult case to make to a jury.

The offense of reckless endangerment is more relevant.  In New York, a person can be charged under this statute for “recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.”  This is something that an aggressive prosecutor might consider, but it is doubtful that even this lower charge would ever be leveled against Cuomo in the liberal state of New York.

It was obvious from the outset that the New York Governor’s order was causing an appalling spike in nursing home deaths.  Under pressure, he reversed himself and rescinded his directive on May 10, 2020.  But it was too late.  Thousands of patients had been exposed and died.  Cuomo’s malfeasance killed those who needed his help the most.  They can now be counted as his victims.

Cuomo has never accepted responsibility for his poor decision-making nor apologized to the families that lost loved ones who should never have died.  Instead, he has blamed nursing home staff, visitors, other agencies, conservatives in the media, and of course Donald Trump.

The Governor’s persistent and most vacuous excuse is that his decision was based on “President Trump’s CDC guidance.”  This is both absurd and demonstrably false.

Before Cuomo issued his fateful order, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a stern advisory that virus-infected patients must be isolated. “It is critical that long-term care facilities implement active measures to prevent introduction of COVID-19,” it read.  The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes, issued an almost identical advisory.

Yet, Cuomo pressured nursing homes to accept patients who were infected and insisted that they “must comply.”  Parents, grandparents, and others died as a direct consequence.

It is too early to know whether federal prosecutors will bring criminal charges against Cuomo and/or his confederates for obstruction of justice, fraud, and conspiracy.  But his attempt to cover-up his wrongful actions shows no signs of abating.  His propensity for bullying people who dare to disagree with him is in full swing.

New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim recently disclosed that Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him if he did not “cover up” for the governor.  That, by itself, could be the subject of a separate obstruction of justice charge.

As the pandemic raged, Cuomo somehow found the time to pen a nauseatingly self-righteous book titled, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The sequel should be called, “American Failure: How My Arrogance Killed Thousands.”

22 Comments

  1. He’ll get away with it. Democrats protect their own. Sad for the families who have died under his governorship.

  2. Classic case of complete and utter narcissism! He didn’t want to validate Trumps effort to help by putting a single patient on the USS Comfort. May he get what the law serves to offer.

  3. We can also add the Govenors of New Jersey, Michigan and California in addition to Cuomo. Report came out that the majority of deaths were all nursing home related. 0.006% was the general population. Totally unacceptable from these Democratic states.

  4. Cuomo is aguably self serving, arrogant and blinded by the light he feels he emanates. However it could be that he thought he was instructing the nursing homes to provide a safe recuperative space for their covid patients. Do they bear any fault in this? Did they publicly say they could not provide a safe and separate space? “It is critical that long-term care facilities implement active measures to prevent introduction of COVID-19,” it read. Did Cuomo know they could not? Im an no Cuomo fan and live in NY. Im a Trump fan though and have seen how the media tends to run with a “villian” that might not be solely to blame, or in Trump’s case, to blame at all. Question everything.

  5. Greg Jarrett makes a good case for the Prosecution. However, the case, if it ever gets to court, will be heard by either an 0bama or Clinton appointed “Judge.” Accordingly, COOMO et al, will walk! May hap a pissant or two goes down, but the BIG GUS like COOMO will probably never see the inside of a courtroom, unless, for some reason or the other, they have to go personally to the courtroom to PAY OFF SOME “JUDGE.” Yes folks, that how badly or court system is broken! I have little if no confidence in our court system. Its packed with Progressive Socialist HACKS handpicked by the likes of 0bama and Clinton.

  6. He is a MONSTER!!!! His self serving ego knows no bounds and he has no SHAME!!! He must be removed from authority to make sure he can do NO MORE HARM TO OTHERS!!!!

    Self serving CLOWN, but not FUNNY!!!

  7. Andrew Cuomo is a coward, liar and murderer. He, like so many people he has successfully prosecuted over the years, must face the consequences of his dastardly actions that killed so many elderly New Yorkers. Cuomo’s ongoing arrogance and attempts to blame everyone but himself cries out for justice. Criminal prosecution, not impeachment, is what is necessary when there is such a deliberate, catastrophic loss of life. The “state face of the covid virus” in New York obstructed justice and continues to blame others, especially President Donald Trump who rebuilt the mercy ship and the Javits Convention center which Cuomo decided to ignore. Face the music, pay the price and stop lying–you are only sinking deeper into the abyss.

  8. I’m going to miss the “Cuomo Brothers Comedy Hour,” on CNN. It was even funnier than “The Smothers Brothers” or “Laugh-in” used to be….

  9. Your NYGovernor has underscored what a free press would have , and should have ,nipped in the bud. His failure absolutely disgusts me,as it should you.
    The media ‘s failure terrifies me.

    When those tasked with truth choose to lick boots, then… then….then………..
    Then the imbeciles will reign supreme.

  10. Cuomo?
    Scandalous
    Contemptible
    Detestable
    Appalling
    Disgraceful
    Dishonourable
    Ignominious
    Inglorious
    And entirely blameworthy.
    All true of Mr Emmy. More so of the fawning
    media that placed the little man on his platform.
    And allowed him to destroy lives and loved ones.
    Helter skelter on public payroll.

  11. Coumo should be charged with, at the least, negligent homicide. He would do anything to destroy President Trump and did so to make himself look like the BIG GUY. If my family member was one of those 15,000 defenseless seniors I certainly would be raising hell.

  12. Follow the money.
    How much cash did the Fed giveaway government give NY for these actions. How much cash would NY have lost if the effected were sent to the ship instead of a NY based care facility? $35k
    Nice scam. And of course the spin and political cover up to continue the left’s agenda.

    I’m happy nipple stud got busted

  13. He should have transferred them into the ship Trump provided. Too arrogant to accept….instead at least 15,000 deaths. Wicked

  14. Not only is Cuomo guilty of a massive coverup but the same thing happened in Michigan throught the outright lies and bungling on the part of Gov. Whitemer. I don’t know if the real number of nursing home deaths has ever been proven. Phil Murphy in New Jersey followed Cuomo’s stupidity and total arrogance.

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