The ethics scandal swirling around New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could end up with obstruction of justice charges against him, according to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who is challenging Cuomo in this year's gubernatorial race.
"It certainly could be obstruction of justice among many other things, pay to play, extortion, I mean you're looking at a lot of these things,'' Astorino, a New York Republican, said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"You've got the federal prosecutors looking at this, but concurrently I believe very strongly that a state prosecutor or a special investigator, special prosecutor needs to be put in place.''
The New York Times reported that Cuomo interfered several times with a commission he announced with great fanfare last summer to root out corruption in state politics.
A "three-month examination," wrote the Times, "found that the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him."
Cuomo ultimately disbanded the Moreland Commission "halfway through what he had indicated would be an 18-month life," provoking an investigation from federal prosecutors. He had said publicly in the commission would be "totally independent."
After the Times report was published, Cuomo defended his actions.
Astorino, who is attending the Republican Governors Association in Aspen, Colorado, said the Times article has been "the talk of the town.''
"I've got to hand it to The New York Times. They did an explosive three-page article, in-depth investigative report on the corruption in the Cuomo administration and the governor himself,'' Astorino said.
"The governor and the governor's chief of staff and his top people made sure that subpoenas were quashed, were withdrawn, where witnesses were not called in, when investigation was steered away, where the governor was protected. Only in New York can the anti-corruption commission have already been corrupt.''
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