Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan and now a professor at Columbia Law School, said Bharara isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary by raising the question of tampering.
“When the feds have expressed an interest in a matter, circling back and trying to get people to change or clarify their accounts really is a dangerous move,” Richman said. “Corporate counsels are generally careful about this, and one would have thought that the governor’s office would be too.”
The notion that Bharara is taking on Cuomo to further his political ambition is nonsense, said David Hantman, a former chief of staff for U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, for whom Bharara was chief counsel before becoming U.S. attorney.
“This isn’t a guy who is sort of unknown, trying to get his name recognition up,” Hantman said. “If he’s in this, he must have seen something that convinces him that justice wasn’t done.”
The next line of political attack out of Cuomo's camp will be that Bharara is in this for political reasons, that he's using the Moreland mess to advance his own political career.
Bharara used to work for Schumer, so when you see a statement from a former Schumer chief of staff saying the notion that Bharara is in this for political reasons is "nonsense," that's Bharara getting ahead of the criticism that's about to come from Cuomo's camp.
I'd bet in the next few weeks we start to see a coordinated campaign from Cuomo associates to undercut the credibility of Bharara because Cuomo's worried Bharara's got something on him and he wants to muddy the waters in this battle between the Sheriff of Wall Street and the Sheriff of Albany.