New York Republicans assailed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration on Thursday night in response to new revelations about his stonewalling the release of information about nursing home deaths, with several calling for him to resign or be impeached.
The New York Post reported that top gubernatorial staffer Melissa DeRosa told Democratic state legislators in a meeting on Wednesday that the administration “froze” when asked to release data about the number of nursing home residents who had died of Covid-19. A March directive from Cuomo calling on nursing homes to admit patients who tested positive for the coronavirus has been blamed for contributing to high death rates.
DeRosa said the administration resisted the release of data because of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to turn the tragedy “into a giant political football,” according to the Post. “Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation," DeRosa said, according to the Post.
Nearly every top Republican in the state pounced on the Post's report, subjecting Cuomo to a barrage of criticism arguably unparalleled at any point during his decade in office.
"For over six months, day after day, in briefing after briefing, Governor Cuomo stood before New Yorkers and lied about his directive that contributed to the deaths of thousands of seniors,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Cuomo’s 2018 challenger. “In the coming days he will cynically try to convince us that it was for our own good — that it was someone else's fault. This is another lie. What is true, is Andrew Cuomo has proved himself unworthy of our trust, and unfit for public office."
“Prosecution and impeachment discussions must begin right away,” state GOP Chair Nick Langworthy said. “If the Governor is involved, he should be immediately removed from office,” said state Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt. And Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) called for other members of Congress to call for “an independent and thorough investigation by the Biden Department of Justice into Governor Cuomo and New York State.”
Numerous Democrats have attacked Cuomo following the recent release of a report from state Attorney General Tish James saying the governor undercounted the number of deaths. So far, however, the leaders of the state Legislature have avoided going to war with Cuomo by issuing subpoenas or reducing his emergency powers.
Some Democrats who have been the most vocal critics of Cuomo joined Republicans in responding to the Post article: “You’re only sorry that you all got caught,” tweeted state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Westchester). “Because of your decisions, thousands of people died who did not have to die.”
Friday, February 12, 2021
Former President Donald Trump's defense team expects to finish its arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial by Friday night, two sources tell CNN.
His lawyers will take the Senate floor on Friday after impeachment managers wrap up on Thursday, but they are not currently expected to use all of their allotted time. Each side gets 16 hours for presentations.
Attorneys David Schoen, Bruce Castor, Michael van der Veen and William Brennan are all expected to speak during Friday's arguments, according to a person familiar with the latest plan. Using videos of Democratic lawmakers, they plan to argue that Democrats glorified violence by recreating the January 6 riot, will claim the trial is unconstitutional and stress Trump's First Amendment rights.
Because the legal team is so disorganized, Trump's allies are apprehensive about how the defense will go. Trump erupted Tuesday as Castor made a meandering opening argument during which he praised the prosecutors.
Several of Trump's allies lobbied him to get rid of Castor that day, which Trump briefly considered, according to two people. Trump was upset as he watched multiple people, including his usual allies on Fox News, trash Castor's performance. But Castor has remained on the team and is expected to present, at least in part, on Friday. He has told people he wasn't planning on speaking Tuesday, which led to the muddled speech. Castor also admitted on the Senate floor that he swapped speaking roles with David Schoen because Democrats presented such a strong opening argument.
Allies reassured the angry former president by reminding him he's still headed toward acquittal. President Joe Biden told reporters he thought grim new footage presented Wednesday could have changed the minds of some senators, but conceded, "I don't know."
Senators are tuning out as former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial grinds into its third day, with many falling asleep and more than a dozen Republicans exiting the chamber at various intervals.
As many as 15 seats of Republican senators were empty during the first few hours of the trial Thursday, compared to just a handful of Democrats who were outside of the chamber, according to pool reports.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) were both away from their desks, for instance, while Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) was in the basement on his phone, CNN’s Manu Raju reported.
Many within the chamber were preoccupied with other activities: Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) were reading papers, while, according to CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) “had a blank map of Asia on his desk and was writing on it like he was filling in the names of the countries.”
On both sides of the aisle, a general malaise was setting in, with many senators reportedly appearing to struggle to stay awake, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
Even Trump’s lawyers were checked out, with David Schoen and Bruce Castor reportedly not taking notes and Schoen even leaving the chamber to speak to reporters and participate in several TV news interviews.
Asked by Raju why he was breaking from the trial to do interviews, Schoen said impeachment managers’ arguments are “more of the same thing,” labeling their use of footage of Capitol rioters citing Trump as their inspiration, “offensive, quite frankly.”
“It’s the same as yesterday and the same as the day before… it’s just redundant. The same thing, over and over again,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told reporters of impeachment managers’ arguments on Thursday. “To me, the more you hear it, the less credibility there is in it.”
Besides, there's no way jurors in any Trump trail can be kept safe. Not when the cultists are police, prosecutors, and federal law enforcement agents at all levels. They will be found, and they will pay the price, and they will acquit, or they and their families will be "accidentally" killed in police raids.
That's how America works.
The impeachment trial will be over in a matter of days.
The trial of America begins when Trump is acquitted.