Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, August 8, 2014

Will Governor Cuomo Skate Free From Moreland Mess?

The Wall Street Journal this morning:

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's prosecutors are now conducting a three-tiered investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.

First, they are exploring whether they can take up cases the Moreland Commission was investigating.
Second, they are investigating whether the Cuomo administration interfered in the commission's work, and why the commission was disbanded.

Finally, prosecutors have indicated they want to know whether the governor's office pressured several commissioners to issue statements in recent weeks disputing the notion the administration had interfered in its investigations, these people said.

Federal prosecutors admit privately that it isn't clear whether alleged instructions by the Cuomo administration to avoid referrals might constitute a crime on either the federal or state level.


Mr. Bharara's probe into the actions of the Cuomo administration with respect to interfering with the commission, dissolving it and the aftermath of that decision is now a top focus of prosecutors, according to people familiar with the probe.

While it is unclear whether he could make a criminal case on that front, Mr. Bharara views the enterprise as a victory even if it doesn't ultimately lead to charges against anyone in the administration, according to a person briefed on the investigation. If his office brings one case that the Moreland Commission failed to refer for prosecution, the investigation will be worth it, the person said.

The Wall Street Journal is the paper that Cuomo uses to plant stuff in, so always take anything there with a grain of salt, but Blake Zeff seems to think Bharara is not going after Cuomo with criminal charges:

Others following the story closely think differently about where Bharara is going:

I have a lot of trust in Blake Zeff, so if he says his reporting is telling him that this is not heading toward removal of the governor, it certainly gives me pause.

That said, this is an article in the Wall Street Journal, an outlet that has served as a public relations vehicle for Cuomo before - this "person briefed on the investigation" who tells the Journal that "Bharara views the enterprise as a victory even if it doesn't ultimately lead to charges against anyone in the administration" could actually be somebody from the Cuomo camp.

But to be honest, it doesn't sound like someone from the Cuomo camp.

It sounds like Bharara is leaving himself an "out" if this investigation, despite the dueling leaks from the Cuomo and Bharara camps and the warning letter from Bharara to Cuomo, ends up with nothing happening to Cuomo or any of his henchmen.


  1. Let's not forget that Bharara has been part of the same Department of Justice "efforts" that have only gone after chump change insider trading cases on Wall Street, and has studiously avoided pursuing criminal cases relating to systemic fraud and abuse before and after the financial crisis.

    I've been wishing that Bharara brings our Reptilian Governor down, but if you look at his track record up to now, there really isn't much cause for optimism.

    1. I agree. Michael - Matt Taibbi covered Bharara's insularity a few years ago:

  2. Preety boy deems inclined to let the scummers slide-that is when he's not outright aiding and abetting them as in what he did with the fun size mayor in the Liu matter.Really, folks, no cause for optimism whatsoever.

    1. You have a point w/ the Liu thing. Bloomberg laundered millions through Independence Party, but no charges.