Hmmm: Is Biden's DoJ investigating Cuomo sexual-harassment allegations?

Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

According to a document obtained by the New York Post, the answer is yes … at least in the past tense. A legal services contract revealed that the Department of Justice under Merrick Garland had opened a civil-rights probe relating to multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Andrew Cuomo.

Is the investigation still underway, though?

The feds are following state and legislative authorities in probing the sexual harassment claims against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo that forced him from office, The Post has learned.

The stunning revelation of a separate Department of Justice investigation is contained in a legal services contract released by the state Comptroller’s Office on Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Law request filed by The Post.

The contract, which was signed in October, references previously revealed Department of Justice investigations into the Cuomo administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, its cover-up of nursing home deaths and Cuomo’s $5.1 coronavirus memoir.

But it adds, “DOJ has also undertaken an inquiry related to sexual harassment claims made against the then Governor.”

The Post’s anonymous sources within the DoJ confirm it, clarifying that the investigation focuses on “possible violations of federal civil rights and labor laws.” Those may not produce criminal charges in the sense that would put Cuomo at risk of federal prison, but could result in other penalties. In fact, those penalties might apply to the state rather than Cuomo personally, which is why Kathy Hochul’s gubernatorial office told the Post that her administration hired separate counsel to deal with “ongoing investigations inherited from the previous administration.”

But is the investigation still under way? NBC News asked the same question, and got no concrete answer:

The investigation was mentioned in a contract with a law firm working for the state’s executive chamber — the governor’s office. The contract, which is dated Oct. 28 and was approved by the state comptroller’s office this week, notes that the Justice Department has “undertaken an inquiry related to sexual harassment claims made against the then Governor.”

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said, “Our understanding is that the Civil Division opened an inquiry in August based upon the AG’s politically motivated sham report and we have heard nothing since.”

August was when state Attorney General Letitia James’ office released a bombshell report alleging that Cuomo had harassed 11 women — nine of whom were state employees — and subjected some of them to unwelcome touching or groping. His office retaliated against one of the women after she spoke out about how she was treated, the report alleged.

The refusal to comment might suggest that the probe remains underway. It seems clear that the DoJ opened the probe on the sexual-harassment allegations, adding that to the other probes that may have started under the Trump administration. (Apparently, the Biden White House decided at some point that Cuomo was no longer an ally.) If that’s the case, then the DoJ would be free to comment on the investigation if it had been closed at some point. Until then, DoJ policy is to refuse to confirm, deny, or comment upon open investigations … which is what they’re presently doing.

So yes, it looks like the state of New York has at least another hangover from the Cuomo regime to wait out and resolve. Cuomo has other worries, however.