Representative Elise Stefanik (R., NY) said Monday that Merrick Garland’s response to a question about a potential conflict of interest in any investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was “not good enough.”
At Garland’s confirmation hearing as attorney general on Monday, Senator Ted Cruz (R., TX) asked candidate Biden if he would pledge not to have someone in conflict investigate. of interest.
Cruz noted that the relationship of acting Manhattan attorney Audrey Strauss with Melissa DeRosa, one of Cuomo’s top collaborators, was a potential concern. Strauss is DeRosa’s stepmother, who recently admitted that the administration had withheld data on deaths in nursing homes to hide the gravity of the situation from federal authorities.
“With all of these investigations, the Department of Justice is open to evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, violations of the law,” Garland replied. “They normally start in the appropriate manner in the relevant US prosecutor’s office.”
“I don’t know any of the facts, but I can guarantee you that a person in conflict of interest will not conduct any investigation of any kind,” he added.
Appearing on Fox News on Monday, Stefanik said the response showed he was not reading basic information.
“As the American people know, this is a serious corruption scandal at the highest level of New York State government,” she said. “We need a much clearer answer from the candidate to be AG [committing to] ensure that there is a non-political and fair independent investigation. And when it comes to obstruction of justice, it’s not just accusations from Katie, it’s been recorded.
She added: “It was recorded on tape during a Zoom call with members of the New York State Assembly, which is why it is also the Democrats who are speaking out on the need for an independent federal inquiry and some are also proposing the impeachment of the governor and the governor, I said, should resign.
Stefanik said the families of those who died in nursing homes “deserve a commitment from candidate AG that this will be an independent investigation.”
“He better get up to speed quickly as this response is not enough for the American people,” she said.
Lawmakers on both sides have called on Cuomo to be stripped of emergency powers given to him last year at the start of the pandemic following comments from DeRosa and a report released by the New York attorney general , Letitia James, who found that the state had underestimated nursing care. – death at home up to 50 percent.
Cuomo last week lashed out at state lawmakers who threatened to overturn his emergency powers and open inquiries into his administration’s cover-up of his mismanagement of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.
“You can’t use a subpoena or the threat of an investigation to take advantage of a person,” Cuomo said during a briefing. “It’s a crime, it’s called abuse of process, it’s called extortion.”
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