Gov. Cuomo bizarrely believes that the corruption conviction of a former top aide also proved he’s clean as a whistle, according to a new interview.
Cuomo told New York magazine that former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s prosecution of Joseph Percoco was actually aimed at him, because Bharara “doesn’t go after Percoco to go after Percoco. He’s going after Percoco to get to the governor.”
“That means they had to go through every piece of paper and every email for two years,” Cuomo said.
“And that they couldn’t find any connection whatsoever, in many ways it’s the most credible exoneration in history, because Preet was a scalp hunter and that’s all he was.”
Cuomo added: “If he had Joe Percoco and every file from Joe Percoco and he can’t find a whisper on me that is a hell of a thing.”
Cuomo, who once publicly likened Percoco to a brother, also said that “Percoco did really stupid things, Hurtful and disgusting and stupid, but stupid.”
Percoco — who was found guilty of pocketing $300,000 in “pay-to-play” bribes — is awaiting sentencing, as are several co-defendants convicted on bid-rigging charges involving Cuomo’s signature “Buffalo Billion” revitalization plan.
Bharara has a decidedly different view of how the sleazy mess reflects on the governor, telling New York: “I appreciate Andrew Cuomo’s need to spin.”
“But I don’t think he has anything to be proud of in the Buffalo Billion scandals or, frankly, in his record on corruption generally,” Bharara added.
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