Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Heat On Bharara

Chris Smith in New York:

What’s interesting is how aggressively public Bharara has been in his pursuit of the Moreland Commission’s intrigues. Certainly other U.S. Attorneys have used the spotlight to enhance their leverage, but that’s usually been after arrests were made (see: Guiliani, Rudolph). Bharara has been out front early on this one, chatting up Brian Lehrer and Charlie Rose about the need to clean up state government while his office does the grunt work of digging through documents. Last week, Bharara’s letter to Cuomo warning the governor not to tamper with Moreland witnesses rapidly found its way into the papers.

Given the governor’s muscular public-relations efforts, Bharara has little choice but to push back hard in public. Maybe the publicity-friendly strategy is also because Bharara suspects he won’t have the facts to send anyone to jail — and that to truly change the culture of state government, punishment is less effective than embarrassment, anyway. But by so overtly confronting Andrew Cuomo, Preet Bhrara is taking a risk, too: He has raised expectations that he’s going to deliver something more than another exposé of the Albany sausage-making machinery.

I agree that Bharara has raised expectations here with his aggressive public push backs against Cuomo that we're going to get more than a few stern words leveled at Cuomo from Bharara in a sharply-worded report on the Moreland Commission investigations.

Ever since the CIA leak investigation where it looked like Karl Rove might get indicted then wasn't, I really try not to get too far ahead of the scandal.

The optimist in me hopes Cuomo is brought to heel by Bharara.

The realist in me thinks the odds are that Cuomo will yet find a way to skate any accountability.

I'm hoping the optimist in me is right.

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