Two separate grand juries in Manhattan have begun hearing testimony in connection with federal and state criminal investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising, according to several people with knowledge of the matters.
It was unclear whether either inquiry would result in criminal charges against the mayor, but the grand jury activity appeared to be the strongest indication since the investigations came to light in April that prosecutors may be moving closer to one or more indictments, possibly against some of Mr. de Blasio’s closest aides.
The inquiries have centered on Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, and several of his senior aides, according to the people with knowledge of the matter, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because grand jury proceedings are secret.
The state investigation has focused on whether the mayor, or those acting with him or on his behalf, violated state election law by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through three upstate county committees and funneling it to Democratic candidates during the party’s unsuccessful 2014 bid to gain control of the State Senate.
The questions asked by state prosecutors in their grand jury presentations suggest their inquiry is in some measure centered on Emma Wolfe, Mr. de Blasio’s top political aide, Ross A. Offinger, who was then his campaign finance director, and Josh Gold, a union political operative who worked on the 2014 Senate effort, the people with knowledge of the inquiry said.
The federal investigation has examined whether Mr. de Blasio or his aides took beneficial action on behalf of donors in exchange for contributions they had made to his 2013 mayoral campaign, his political nonprofit or both in roughly a half-dozen instances, according to people with knowledge of that inquiry.
Preet doesn't leak this kind of shit without criminal charges coming soon after, so it's almost a done deal that Wolfe, Offinger, Gold or all three are going to get charged with something in the near future.
Whether de Blasio gets charged, difficult to say at this point - but one of the guy's turning state's evidence is the same guy who turned on Ed Mangano in Nassau County, so you never know.
Cuomo had a bunch of his cronies indicted but most New York City residents have no idea that happened - it didn't get much coverage in the media down here.
That's Cuomo - he leads a real charmed life.
If de Blasio's aides are charged, however, you can bet there'll be a free-for-all over it in the media and it will do real damage to de Blasio.
So far Sal Albanese has announced he's running for mayor and faux Democrat Tony Avella has set up a committee to explore a mayoral run.
I think if charges come for de Blasio's aides, we'll see more jump in the race.
The ones to watch are Scott Stringer and charter school shill Ruben Diaz Jr. - do either or both jump in if de Basio appears wounded by these grand jury investigations?
I would've had another charter school shill on the list for potential jump-in's but Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is now in a leadership position with House Democrats, so it's unlikely he jumps in.
We'll see how all this plays out, but once again, Preet's in the seat bringing more heat - and this time it's aiming at Bill de Blasio.
No matter what happens, I remain dubious about Diaz Jr. running as the clean candidate against de Blasio when he comes from a family with such a history of corruption.
But we'll see.