Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, May 1, 2015

Feds Wiretapping Targets Stemming From Silver Investigation

Had my sights mostly on the New Jersey/Bridgegate story so managed to miss this from earlier:

NEW YORK — Federal investigators have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, DNAinfo has learned.

Investigators in the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors, sources said.

The targets came to light during the two-year investigation of the powerful state Assembly leader — during which federal corruption fighters found “numerous new tentacles” to pursue, sources said.     
The feds did not utilize wiretaps on Silver as part of the investigation that led to the indictment of the 72-year-old Manhattan lawmaker.

But federal authorities were "already listening to numerous people in various places" on unrelated investigations before looking into Silver, and his "case provided a bunch of new places to wiretap,” a law enforcement source told "On The Inside."

The revelation that there is a new wave of federal eavesdropping from the speaker’s probe is certain to rattle an already-anxious Albany, where dozens of lawmakers have been convicted on corruption charges, many of them secretly caught on tape.

Numerous new tentacles to pursue  yikes.

First the Bridgegate plea and indictments, with speculation that the feds are working their way up the chain in New Jersey, and now news of a "bunch" of new Albany wiretaps to pursue numerous new tentacles of corruption.

Truly Christmas in May.


  1. From Newsday:

    Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, are likely to be arrested on federal corruption charges as early as next week, according to news outlets.

    The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are carrying reports, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, saying that arrests of the veteran Rockville Centre-based lawmaker, a Republican, and his son Adam, 32, are imminent.

    The arrests would be the latest development in a months-long probe by Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York based in Manhattan, into whether Skelos used his power as Long Island's highest-ranking lawmaker - and the top legislator in the state Senate -- to influence matters that resulted in personal gain.

    1. Got it - just went up with it. Saw the story about a minute after I put this post up. What a day! Bridgegate indictments, wiretaps, now a Skelos indictment.

  2. As juicy as the new wiretaps sound, and they are, to hear it is kind of a let down. It's kind of clear that Preet won't be going after Cuomo. Tapping and listening to the various assortment of swamp life in Albany is not at all the same as going after the largest of all bottom dwellers....Cuomo. I stick with my initial prediction: Silver, Skelos, and an assortment of others few have heard of. No Cuomo.

    1. How is it a letdown?

      Would you expect the feds to leak that they're wiretapping the governor as part of the Silver investigation?

      Wait and see what comes out of all of this.

      He's gone after two of the three amigos.

      Some of the information that led to this came from Moreland.

      We know that Cuomo's office had subpoenas related to his donors pulled back during the Moreland investigation.

      We also know that the executive director was feeding Cuomo's office every piece of info about Moreland.

      You cannot be sure that the feds are not aiming at Cuomo for shutting down the commission knowing it had the skinny on Silver and Skelos or that they picked up the threads of the investigation into Cuomo's donors that Cuomo put the kibbosh on.

  3. Wiretapping at this stage of he game is centered on members of the assembly, not Cuomo. It's just a clear indication of where the focus is....much smaller fish. You don't let it out that you are going to begin tapping and still have any focus on Cuomo. The only way Cuomo goes down is via Silver or Skelos talking....and talking big. Cuomo doesn't go down on an announced, broadcast for all to hear wire tap. The folks you'll snag in a new-announced wire tap are small small small time (by Albany standards) legislators who don't read the news and who weren't that bright to begin with. Preet, all along, wanted to disrupt Albany just enough to look super tough and promote himself. Cuomo was never the target. I'd bet Cuomo helped Preet on Silver and or Skelos.

    1. I'm not suggesting the feds are wiretapping Cuomo. I am saying that there was enough smoke around the Moreland Commission shenanigans, the pulled back subpoenas, the tampering, to warrant a closer look. And if any prosecutor ever had the ambition to take a closer look, it would be this one. Add in that he's out of Schumer's shop and you have another reason why they might want to take Cuomo out. Doesn't mean they will - the likelihood is small. But it's by no means a done deal that Cuomo's safe either.