NEW York Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly being investigated by the FBI over his coronavirus-era nursing home scandal after he threatened to destroy a state lawmaker.
The FBI and the US Attorney’s office opened a probe on Wednesday into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, the Times Union reported.
Investigators are looking into the actions of Cuomo’s coronavirus task force, which was formed last March and included his secretary Melissa DeRosa.
Cuomo is under fire after DeRosa privately admitted that his administration withheld nursing home death numbers fearing that they would be “used against us.”
The governor faced criticism for a March 25 Health Department directive that forced nursing homes to accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals no matter what their test results were.
That order led to more deaths and spreading of the virus, critics claim.
Cuomo’s office is apparently under investigation as State Assemblyman Ron Kim said the governor called him last Thursday and threatened to destroy him if he did not help minimize the scandal.
Kim claimed that Cuomo told him to wrote a statement “to say that Melissa DeRosa said there was a federal investigation and they had to deal with that first,” the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
“The governor says, ‘Mr. Kim, are you an honorable man?’” the Democratic lawmaker said.
Kim recalled Cuomo telling him: “You have not seen my wrath. I have been biting my tongue for months. I can tell the whole world what a bad person you are and you will be finished."
“You will be destroyed,” Cuomo said, according to Kim.
Kim became a big Cuomo critic after his uncle, Son Kim, experienced coronavirus symptoms and died at a nursing home in April.
In a conference call on Wednesday, Cuomo said Kim told him he was misquoted in the Post’s report.
The governor also said that his administration has had a “long and hostile relationship” with Kim since 2015 when Kim helped create a law protecting nail salon workers but switched to fighting it allegedly to support business owners.
Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzopardi said that “Mr. Kim is lying about his conversation with Governor Cuomo.”
“I know because I was one of three other people in the room when the phone call occurred," Azzopardi told Fox News.
"At no time did anyone threaten to 'destroy' anyone with their 'wrath' nor engage in a ‘coverup.’"
Azzopardi attributed the state assemblyman’s comments as “unfortunately part of a years-long pattern of lies by Mr. Kim against this administration.”
Kim wrote a letter on Tuesday signed by eight Assembly Democrats, accusing Cuomo of obstructing justice at the federal level.
The lawmaker from Queens also introduced legislation to take away Cuomo’s emergency powers during the pandemic.
CNN on Wednesday allegedly banned Cuomo’s younger brother, anchor Chris Cuomo, from interviewing him on the scandal.
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