Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the scandal-clad Cuomo, told The New York Times on Monday that the state government had “officially jumped the shark” with James’ new investigation into the governor’s alleged use of state resources to pen his memoir, “American Crisis.”
“We have officially jumped the shark — the idea there was criminality involved here is patently absurd on its face and is just the furthering of a political pile-on,” Azzopardi said to the Times.
“This is Albany politics at its worst,” Azzopardi continued. “Both the comptroller and the attorney general have spoken to people about running for governor, and it is unethical to wield criminal referral authority to further political self-interest.”
Cuomo’s aide doubled down on his comments in a tweet responding to the piece published by Albany Times-Union columnist Chris Churchill criticizing the governor’s team’s response to the investigation.
“Maybe I just call it how I see it,” Azzopardi wrote on Twitter.
Churchill’s piece took aim at Cuomo and his team, saying the attack by the governor’s team was “somewhat surprising” because it had “happened quite so soon.”
“Cuomo and supporters would eventually need to go on the offensive. His team would need to discredit James with a cynical attack on her supposed motivations — no matter how hypocritical, considering Cuomo’s record as attorney general,” Churchill wrote.
“Now, already, that time has come,” he added.
Cuomo has been embroiled in multiple scandals for months over a litany of issues, including multiple sexual harassment complaints and his COVID-19 nursing home policies that led to thousands of deaths.
Cuomo has maintained that any help on his memoir that came from official employees was voluntary. The employees allegedly assisted in editing the governor’s book as well as other book-related tasks, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.
Cuomo had gotten a large advance on his memoir before it was published in October of last year. The book bragged about Cuomo’s COVID-19 response but his office later admitted the coronavirus death toll in the state’s nursing homes and other care facilities had been drastically underreported.
Fox News’ Cameron Cawthorne contributed to this report.