The Department of Justice should not have dropped its civil rights probe against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is seeking the GOP nomination in the state governor's race, said Friday on Newsmax.
"I certainly disagree with the decision as that particular inquiry was looking into the public nursing homes in the state," the New York Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "The civil rights division, I believe, should have been investigating and pursuing accountability."
Late last week, the DOJ said it will not be opening a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York and other states over their response to COVID-19.
During former President Donald Trump's administration, the DOJ's civil rights division sought data from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan concerning the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths in their public nursing homes.
The request came while there were still questions about whether some states, specifically New York, had potentially caused more deaths by forcing nursing homes to bring in residents who had been hospitalized for the disease.
Zeldin noted that there was also a separate inquiry a few months later, with the one that was dropped beginning in August but another letter being sent to the state in October.
"DOJ hasn't weighed in publicly as far as I know with regards to that look into the private nursing homes, and DOJ does have jurisdiction," he said. "When the private nursing homes are accepting that Medicare, Medicaid funding, to make sure that people are not being mistreated."
Zeldin added that Cuomo's "nursing home order, the coverup, the book deal, and so much more warrant the investigation and accountability from what is now investigations at different levels of government.
"So while the governor might want to take a victory lap. It might be his strong desire publicly, he is very far from the end game here because a bunch of investigations continue and there's an election waiting for him on Nov. 8, 2022, if he even makes it that far," said Zeldin.
The congressman also said that he believes Cuomo is following the model set from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who refused to resign over a scandal concerning a photo in his medical school yearbook.
"(He's saying) 'damn the torpedoes, I'm not going to hurt anyone's call. I'm elected to a four-year term. I'm not going to resign,'" said Zeldin. "He's continuing to raise money for his reelection."
However, the congressman said he believes this is the end of Cuomo'stime in elected office, whether it ends "with impeachment, resignation, indictment, or losing a primary general election."
"I don't believe that by the end of 2022, he's going to continue to be serving as governor of the state," said Zeldin. "Andrew Cuomo, if he chooses his path of refusing to resign and trying to avoid accountability, it's going to catch up to him at some point over the course of this next year and a half."
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