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Anna Shane just sent me this article and analysis of what appears to be an important addition to the Bridgegate reporting concerning the reports of possible investigations in New York State by the U.S. Attorney there. She appears not to be in a position to post it herself so ask me if I could put it up for your consideration.

If I am following Anna's extensive research notes correctly, last night Anna comments on the confusing reports about whether or not a New York probe is targeting David Samson. Anna's first link takes us to the New York Times:

Marc Santora and Willian K. Rashbaum of the New York Times disclose U.S. Attorney Says He Will Take Up Work of Corruption Panel Cuomo Disbanded. Preet Bharara, apparently, the top prosecutor in Manhatten, has challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to shut down a commission formed to investigate political corruption in New York state, and says he "would take up its unfinished work."

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose prosecutions in recent years uncovered deep corruption in Albany and spurred the formation of the commission, also said that he would take seriously any suggestions that the governor’s office might have influenced the commission.

“If there is something to pursue that is worth pursuing, we will do it,” he said.

Mr. Bharara, speaking on Thursday morning on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC public radio, said he was not sure what his investigation would find, but he offered a withering public rebuke of Mr. Cuomo’s decision to shut down the inquiry. ... “It was disbanded before its time,” he said.


"Rachel said that Bharara's office had confirmed he is not targeting Samson. Now maybe we know why.  Because her notes are several pages long, and contain at least half a dozen links, I want to be careful to get the correct. In some places it is not clear to me which are her notes, and which are quotes from the many articles she has linked to. So I will start here with this New York times article and work backwards in updates. Perhaps, Anna will be able to check in and explain this to us in more detail.

Here's where I am not clear if the notes are Anna's or quotes from articles and I do not want to make an error. So let me post this, and hope Anna appears to explain this to us.

If she works up a post of it I will take this one down, as I am always glad to help her out in any way I can.

If any readers can cast light on this as well, please feel free to add any links in the comments. David Samson appears to show up prominently, in later notes, however, I need to do more background readers before I understand completely this part of the story.

Thanks Anna Shane.

2:34 PM PT: Wow, I just followed up on Anna Shane's second of six links and it looks like she's found a big one here. Also, Kos also mentions one of this link in his front page post, which Anna goes into greater detail on. It looks as if Governor Cuomo's staff may be using the same trick as Governor Christie's of using their private Blackberry's for messaging and then deleting them, to get around the state's transparency in record keeping laws. This article also mentions that Prosecutor Bharara sent a truck to pick up over 2 million documents that were subpoenaed in the prior investigation that was shut down.

What is not clear to me yet, is how this investigation is related to the New Jersey investigatiton, but I still have several sections of Anna's report to go through.

Markos also has a front page post on this second link. Anna's research goes into more detail.

For all of Lieberman's flaws, at least he wasn't corrupt like Andrew Cuomo

William K RashBaum and Susanne Graig U.S. Attorney Criticizes Cuomo’s Closing of Panel

Mr. Cuomo created the panel, the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, in July, with great fanfare and a broad mandate to restore public trust in government. But watchdog groups raised concerns about the panel’s credibility after reports about interference by the governor’s office, which leaned on the commission to limit the scope of its investigations, influence which subpoenas it would issue, and in some cases, stop the commission from issuing subpoenas to groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo.

“The sequence of these events gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders,” he wrote.

Bharara has requested all parties perserve the investigative files and the committee chairmen have agreed to turn overe all of the panels files.

RashBaum and Graig raise the possibility that Mr Cuomo's attempt to improve his reputation my blow up in his face and "become an embarrassment for the governor. (Cue Wile E. Coyote Fixes That Backfire cartoon.)

One commissioner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of antagonizing the governor, complained of meddling by some of Mr. Cuomo’s top aides in the panel’s investigative work.

This commissioner said Lawrence S. Schwartz, the governor’s secretary, and Mylan L. Denerstein, Mr. Cuomo’s counsel, “would routinely call and say, ‘How can you issue a subpoena like this?’ or ‘These people shouldn’t be on it.’

In September, Mr. Cuomo had at least two private meetings with the chairmen of the commission, according to records of his daily schedule. In one instance, Mr. Cuomo’s office persuaded the commission to delay issuing a subpoena to the Real Estate Board of New York, whose leaders donated to the governor’s campaigns and supported a business coalition, the Committee to Save New York, that spent millions of dollars on advertising in support of his agenda.

The commissioner says that behind he scenes Cuomo was trying to direct the panel's investigation.

3:08 PM PT: A forth link:

U.S. Attorney Says He Will Take Up Work of Corruption Panel Cuomo Disbanded

Five days after Mr. Cuomo said the commission was being disbanded, Mr. Bharara sent a letter to the commission’s top officials saying he was “disappointed to learn” of the commission’s “premature end,” acknowledging that its work was “aggressive, active and ongoing” but incomplete, and calling its shutdown “difficult to understand.”

“The sequence of these events gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders,” he wrote.

5:22 PM PT: This link from Anna is the one I was waiting for, documenting that both investigations are cooperating. David Sampson appears to be a potential target of both investigations.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Public Corruption Unit Cooperating with NJ on Christie -related Probe.  

5:38 PM PT: I;ve never heard of Anna next link The Perdido Street School Blogspot opens up the core questions these other  are nudging up against:

Cuomo had been using the Moreland Commission investigations to threaten members of the legislature to do what he wanted around a host of issues, including ethics reform and public financing of campaigns, but announced right after the this year's budget deal that all was so swell with the ethics reforms agreed upon by the Senate, Assembly and Cuomo himself in the budget that the Moreland Commission would be disbanded because it was no longer needed ....

Actually if Cuomo bargained away "investigations potentially significant to the public interest" as part of a "negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders," then Cuomo has opened himself up to a potential criminal investigation for quid pro quo dealings.....

In addition, with so many rumors flying that Cuomo put the kibbosh on any investigations into his own donors and otherwise interfered with the work of the commission so badly that one of its chairs resigned, Bharara may find evidence that leads to serious problems for members of the Cuomo administration or even for Cuomo himself.

5:50 PM PT: Federal prosecutor vows to complete all Moreland Commission probes

If I were Governor Cuomo I wouldn't be pleased to hear this quote from prosecutor Bharara"

It was clear from the governor and lawmakers last week that a trade was made to end the Moreland Commission’s work in return for new measures, such as more public disclosure of the outside income activities of state lawmakers, tougher bribery laws and a ban on elected officials from holding public office again if they are convicted of a felony.

“I don’t think legislation is a panacea,” Bharara said.

The Moreland Commission’s effectiveness and impartiality also has been questioned in Western New York after officials and private citizens said their complaints were ignored. Betty Jean Grant, minority leader of the County Legislature, has indicated on several occasions that detailed complaints she submitted on a political committee called the WNY Progressive Caucus with close ties to Buffalo political operative G. Steven Pigeon – a close Cuomo ally – were ignored.

“I just wanted to express my extreme displeasure at the Moreland Commission,” Grant said last month on the commission’s failure to act on her complaint. “To not even receive a reply … ”

Well Kossacks. This is Anna's last link. Whew!  BTW This is just her links, I haven't even gotten to her notes yet. I told you her report was "a little more detailed" than the one by Markos. But, where did she go. I better not learn that the reason she could post all this was she had go out to dinner and a movie. (Humor alert!)  

Originally posted to HoundDog on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by New York City.

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