NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 10: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference held in LaGuardia Airport’s brand-new state-of-the-art Terminal B on June 10, 2020 in New York City.
During an interview with Fox News on Saturday, New York Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim opened up about a “shouting match” that he recently had with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over the nursing home scandal.
“When the news broke of that admittance of the coverup, the governor called later that night, in middle of the evening around 8 o’clock, berating me for 10 minutes, threatening my career, ordering me to issue a new statement that he can use to cover up for his top aide,” Kim said to Fox News’ “Cavuto Live.”
“You know, and I don’t want to go into too much of the details, it was a 10-minute … shouting match from the governor,” he added.
Check out what the Daily Caller had to say:
Cuomo has been under a barrage of criticism after he reportedly hid the number of people who died of the coronavirus in nursing homes to avoid discovery by the federal government. Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik has called for Cuomo to be prosecuted for his role in the coverup.
Kim has said the New York State Assembly is “inching toward” an impeachment probe and that he is willing to cooperate with any federal investigation into Cuomo’s mishandling of nursing homes and any alleged subsequent coverup.
Kim said the governor “abused his powers” and has “a pattern of abusive behavior” that Cuomo demonstrated through a phone call with Kim earlier this month. The assemblyman said Cuomo must now be held accountable, “not just for his abusive behavior, but his abuse of power. That’s what’s at stake right now.”
Kim went on to add that Cuomo threatened “to ruin” his career. “He laid out how he was going to come out to the public and tell everyone how bad of a human being I am … it left my wife in tears for two hours. He left an indelible mark on my family.”
Kim said at one point Cuomo asked him “Who do you think you are?”
“Well, I am the chair of the Committee on Aging in the New York State Assembly,” Kim said on Fox News. “It’s my job to protect older adults. I shouldn’t be threatened for doing my job and that is exactly what’s happening here.”
On Thursday, New York Assembly Republicans officially began the impeachment process against Governor Cuomo for his potentially criminal activity relating to the nursing home scandal.
The Republican lawmakers officially announced a resolution to start an impeachment commission against Cuomo. This is the first step necessary to remove Cuomo as Governor.
Check out what Newsweek reported:
On Thursday, Assembly Republicans announced a resolution to create an impeachment commission consisting of eight bipartisan members of the legislature. The panel would have 60 days to conduct its work and submit its findings and recommendations to the state legislature.
“The Cuomo Administration’s nursing home cover-up is one of the most alarming scandals we’ve seen in state government,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said in a statement. “It is incumbent upon the Legislature to undertake a comprehensive, bipartisan review of the Cuomo Administration’s policies, decisions and actions on this matter and render a decision on what steps must be taken to hold the governor accountable.”
Cuomo is under intense fire from both Republicans and Democrats in the state of New York. On Monday, the New York governor falsely claimed that legislators in the state Assembly and Senate were told that there was a “pause” in responding to lawmakers’ requests for data relating to the nursing home scandal. That claim by Cuomo was immediately denounced by New York state Democratic legislators.
Relating to the “pause,” Cuomo said:
This past year, there was a toxic political environment and everything gets politicized and there’s political spin and then there are facts — two very different things and I just want to be sure people have facts. Last August, Department of Justice sent a letter to Democratic governors, four of them: New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania asking for information on public nursing homes. New York State Legislature also sent a letter asking for information on nursing homes. We paused the State Legislators’ request while we were finishing the DOJ request
We told both houses, the Assembly and the Senate, that we had DOJ request for information and we were prioritizing that. We did give the DOJ request precedence and we told both houses that. The August request, we replied to fully. Separately, DOH got a DOJ letter signed by Jeffrey Clark, the attorney, in October — which we learned about from the New York Post. We didn’t even get the letter. The Post called and told us about the letter and that requested information on private nursing homes and we have been voluntarily producing information on that on a rolling basis as recently as January 8 as offered by DOJ — the rolling basis production.
Second, we paused the State Legislature’s request. We paused the State Legislature’s request. We voluntarily complied with the DOJ request for information. Two very different things, The New York State DOH has always fully and publicly reported all COVID deaths in nursing homes and hospitals. They have always been fully reported.
Editor of the Albany Times-Union asked New York state senators if Cuomo’s claim was true, asking: “[Gov. Cuomo] now claims legislative STAFF was told about the DOJ ‘pause’ in responding to lawmakers’ requests for nursing home data,” Casey Seiler tweeted. “Does that square with your experiences, @NYSenatorRivera, @JamesSkoufis, @DickGottfriedet al?”
Sen. Gustavo Rivera replied, “Outside of what I read in the paper? Ahem, let me clear my throat here, ahem: IT. DOES. NOT.”
A Politico reporter commented, “I honestly don’t think I would’ve placed ‘Assembly staff’ high on my rankings of the people most likely to get thrown under the bus today.”
New York State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou tweeted: “The legislature had no knowledge of a DOJ inquiry. The legislature at a public hearing asked questions of the executive and of the health commissioner and then was lied to. The things said in the last press conference were frightening because for their blatant goal to mislead.” She added, “Also I should mention, a DOJ inquiry shouldn’t matter. The governor should not lie or withhold or cover up information that we need to legislate in order to keep New Yorkers safe.”
State Assembly member Ron Kim unleashed, calling Cuomo’s actions “despicable,” tweeting, “Gov Cuomo tried to throw our Speaker and our central staff under the bus today when his top aide admitted to obstructing justice. That’s beyond despicable.”
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