National review

Cuomo responds to Biden’s Reflexive BS with standard BS

At another selfish press conference Wednesday, Andrew Cuomo was asked what the media all had on Twitter: President Biden’s recent statement that Cuomo should resign and face criminal prosecution if allegations of sexual harassment against him are confirmed (see coverage by Zachary from NR) Evans, here). After initially issuing the customary denial that Biden had said what Biden had actually said, the New York governor turned to the usual insistence that he should not make any further public statements now as the alleged allegations are being investigated. It is a farce through and through. First, the president’s remarks were only indirectly revealing: The Cuomo vortex is so serious that White House ventriloquists Obama II no longer see the remaining mother as an option. Biden commented on this, but at first glance his observations were nothing more than what anyone, semi-sensitive as they may be, could have said. The sexual harassment allegations were alarming even before the last, as yet unidentified, prosecutor said Cuomo had fondled her under her blouse. If this were confirmed, it would be not just harassment but criminal sexual behavior under New York law. Obviously, any public office holder confirmed to have committed a crime of this type should resign and be prosecuted. Biden made up for his banal comments after many top Democrats already called for Cuomo’s resignation – because a) the allegations are grave; b) there is enough of a worrying pattern of abuse to have emerged, regardless of whether a single incident reaches the level of a verifiable criminal offense or a civil offense; c) They are in addition to what seems to mislead Cuomo on the critical issue of COVID-19 nursing home deaths among the public, as well as with federal and state officials. and d) this sea of ​​scandals raises significant questions as to whether Cuomo can rule effectively, or whether the need to defend him has become too risky and stressful. Other Democrats, mainly the New York hard left, want Cuomo to be indicted. His fall would remove an obstacle to their stranglehold on the state (i.e., completing Albany’s ongoing transition to Manhattan). As a result, the Establishment Democrats are looking for the safest place to land. The sweet spot is asking Cuomo to step down but doing nothing to bring about his fall. In fact, many claim that the problem should only be forced after the investigation is complete – which can take months. The idea is to be able to tell the hard left that they violently condemned Cuomo while at the same time maintaining the credibility of the establishment by helping the beleaguered governor overcome it. In contrast, the White House and Biden did not even choose this safe position where everything applies to all people. Biden’s statements are limited to: if, if, if. That is, nothing has been confirmed, so there is nothing specific to discuss. Cuomo was right that what the president said didn’t matter – although he characteristically was misleading when he suggested that reporters fail to accurately report the remarks. Then, as night follows day, the governor went back to page one of the Scandal Playbook: Imagine having no choice but to complain. Obviously, no politician enjoys being investigated, especially when the issues are serious. But there is always a silver lining: the politician can say that pending an official investigation (or three) means that he is not free to comment publicly on the matter – either “on the advice of a lawyer” or “let it happen” Investigators do their job ”, etc. Note that none of these officials ever say, “because anything I say can and will be used against me in court if I am charged or civilly sued for a crime” – even if it were at least true. We shouldn’t be fooled, even if the press tends to play along with this game. According to various guidelines, public prosecutors and investigators are prohibited from commenting on pending probes. Grand jurors are legally prohibited from commenting publicly on what they learn in the process. However, there are no such restrictions on the subject of an investigation. Cuomo is entirely free to comment on the matters investigated. He chooses not to do this – or only if he sees an advantage in it. Our law gives him every right to do so, but we should not be under any illusions. He goes dark, not because he has to, but because (1) when he says things that are true but incriminating, they can be used to prove his guilt; (2) When he says things that are exculpatory but wrong, they can be used to prove his guilt – which is often the prosecutor’s favorite piece of evidence. and (3) if he says things that are in the nature of disguised threats, he may be charged with obstruction of justice. That and that alone is the reason why scandalous officials show up. Let’s pause to see what this means. An essential part of an official’s public trust is transparency in matters of great public interest. If an official (incorrectly) says that he is unable to comment on such matters due to an investigation pending, his personal interest in avoiding criminal or civil liability outweighs the public’s interest in being informed about matters that concern the public most . They all do it because they all believe it will work. You should be called on it. Governor Cuomo should be called upon to do so.