Cuomo Charges Unlikely|in ‘Albany on Trial’ | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Cuomo Charges Unlikely|in ‘Albany on Trial’

MANHATTAN (CN) - In a surprise conclusion to his crusade against Albany corruption, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicated Monday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may remain the last of the "Three Men in the Room" left standing.

Bharara had used the phrase in 2014 when he complained about the powerful political triumvirate he saw in Cuomo's dealings with then New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Bharara's prosecutors wound up securing corruption convictions against Silver and Skelos last year, leading some to predict an imminent downfall for Cuomo.

Back in his 2014 press conference, Bharara obliquely questioned the governor's closing of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, just a year after its creation, before the investigators had completed their probe of state politicians and political organizations.

Bharara officially acknowledged the existence of a criminal probe into the commission's closing Monday but said the search came up empty.

"After a thorough investigation of interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission and its premature closing, this office has concluded that, absent any additional proof that may develop, there is insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime," Bharara wrote. "We continue to have active investigations related to substantive inquiries that were being conducted by the Moreland Commission at the time of its closure."

Cuomo's attorney Elkan Abramowitz celebrated the announcement.

"We were always confident there was no illegality here, and we appreciate the U.S. Attorney clarifying this for the public record," Abramowitz said.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who deputized the Moreland investigators, declined to comment on the probe's outcome.

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