Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Preet Bharara Said

US Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara appeared on radio with Susan Arbetter today, made no specific announcements about the Moreland investigations or Andrew Cuomo but did say this:

Arbetter noted that Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the corruption panel as “transactional,” or a tool for achieving a deal on ethics legislation. Doesn’t that drive Bharara up the wall?

“I’m not going to go back … and talk about what certain people said or didn’t say and a number of contradictions there were in what someone may or may not have said about a particular commission,” Bharara said in a sentence that you should be glad you didn’t have to diagram back in fourth grade.

“What I stand by is, if you want to solve any problem — corruption problem or anything else — and you decide to employ an investigative body, the only way that that investigative body is to get to the root of the problem and be appreciated by the public as having gotten to the root of the problem is if it has independence,” he said.

Also important: “the longevity of a prosecutor’s office. … It takes a while. And so, generally speaking, when you’re trying to solve a problem you need some amount of longevity, and you certainly need to have — at the core of the institution — independence.”

If you're reading tea leaves, the individual who most played with the independence of an investigative body was Andrew Cuomo.

It was Cuomo's staffer who put the kibbosh on subpoenas to Cuomo's donors.

It was Cuomo's staffer who wrote up statements for former Moreland commissioners to issue in support of Andrew Cuomo after the Times published it's devastating Moreland article over the summer.

It was Cuomo who kept tabs on the commission via his commission director, Regina Calcaterra.

I saw somewhere a comment that by not mentioning the Moreland investigations specifically on the radio today, what Bharara was saying was that Andrew Cuomo was in the clear.

Bharara said nothing of the sort - not in either the statements he made or the subtext of those statements.

One thing I did hear here, however, was that Bharara will certainly not be making any moves pre-Election Day and maybe not for long afterwards either.

Dunno if he really is going to go after Cuomo or not for interfering with the Moreland Commission, but it does seem like if he does do it, it won't be any time soon.