Federal prosecutors subpoenaed materials related to the production of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s book “American Crisis” last month, according to a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal.
Prosecutors assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York subpoenaed emails and pitch materials related to Cuomo’s book as part of their ongoing probe into Cuomo’s March 2020 executive order directing nursing homes to accept patients infected with COVID-19 into their facilities, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed material related to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 memoir and are interested in its coverage of nursing homes as part of a widening probe into Covid-19 deaths in New York nursing homes, people familiar with the matter said https://t.co/m2nTfs0MGs
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 7, 2021
Cuomo’s administration later pressured New York State Health Department officials to underreport the actual number of nursing home residents that died from COVID-19 in a July 2020 report.
Cuomo signed a $5.1 million dollar book deal with Penguin Random House in October 2020 for the manuscript of his book concept “American Crisis: Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic.”
In the book, Cuomo defended his decision to send thousands of COVID-19 positive patients into New York’s nursing homes. (RELATED: ‘Bundle This Book With Andrew Cuomo’s’: Joe Concha Says Anthony Fauci Is ‘Profiting Off The Pandemic’)
Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa allegedly admitted in February that the state deliberately withheld data on COVID-19 deaths from the public to avoid being investigated by former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) during a conference call with state Democrats.
Michael Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, claimed the subpoenaed materials could potentially be damning for Cuomo if they contain information inconsistent with public statements made by Cuomo.
“If reflections memorialized in records and notes are inconsistent with what he was saying publicly or with disclosures to health or government officials, that is potentially problematic,” Weinstein said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
“The Governor elected to withhold COVID-19 nursing home mortality information from the Legislature and the public, and by doing so he painted an inaccurate but flattering narrative regarding his pandemic response,” Republican Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, who has introduced legislation with Republican State Sen. George Borrello to ban sitting elected state officials from profiting off of book sales, told the Daily Caller.
“That he had the gall to use his newfound fame from that false narrative to profit from a $5 million+ self serving book deal during the pandemic is incredibly insulting. We know it’s wrong, and I’m glad federal authorities are looking into it. They can not move fast enough. We need to pass legislation to prevent sitting state officials from profiting off of book sales immediately,” Byrne said.
Federal prosecutors are currently investigating Cuomo for potentially violating the False Claims Act as well as his alleged decision to grant his family priority in obtaining COVID-19 tests and his role in drafting a controversial law that gave legal immunity to nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal.