The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly examining whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and his aides provided the Justice Department with false nursing home data.
An ongoing federal investigation has been focusing on this question recently, with FBI agents interviewing officials about information the state submitted to the Justice Department in 2020 about the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes, The New York Times reported. “False statements in such a submission could constitute a crime,” the Times notes.
FBI agents have reportedly spoken with senior Health Department officials, contacted lawyers for Cuomo aides, and subpoenaed the governor’s office for relevant documents, and “in some cases,” they have traveled to health officials’ homes to interview them about the data, the report says.
Cuomo has been facing scrutiny over his handling of data on the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents, and an aide in February acknowledged the state withheld data amid concerns it “was going to be used against us.” Separately, the New York governor has also been embroiled in a scandal after facing allegations of sexual harassment. Both scandals have prompted investigations and calls for Cuomo to resign, though he has said he won’t do so.
The Times‘ report comes after The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that federal prosecutors are also examining the Cuomo administration’s push “to enact broad protections for nursing homes from lawsuits and criminal prosecution” early on during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lawyer representing the governor’s office, Elkan Abramowitz, told the Times in response to Friday’s reporting that the Cuomo administration’s “submission in response to D.O.J.’s August request was truthful and accurate and any suggestion otherwise is demonstrably false.”