BUFFALO, N.Y. — Assembly member Thomas Abinanti from Westchester County is one of the 21 members of the State Assembly Judiciary Committee and while we’ve heard previously from a local member, this downstate Democrat is frustrated with Governor Cuomo and his aides recently questioning the motives and partiality of those attorneys handling separate investigations for that committee and the State Attorney General.
“The governor is attacking people who have one hand tied behind their backs. They can’t push back, they can’t fight back. They can’t answer because that would make them look prejudice. But their doing their jobs. And the governor should not be attacking people who are doing their jobs,” Abinanti said.
Monday the governor seemed confident he would be exonerated and again he was throwing some political shade on the investigator attorneys. Cuomo told reporters, “On the AG’s report I said I have concerns as to the independence of the reviewers.” Cuomo then added, “I am eager for the truth to come out here and New Yorkers will be shocked.”
Of course, this comes shortly after reports that investigators interviewed Cuomo and some of his top aides about the allegations.
Abinanti defends the Judiciary Committee’s investigators who are acknowledged to be major league and highly paid legal pros. The state lawmaker said, “There was an outcry that said these things may not be criminal but they may be impeachable. The only way you can chastise a Governor who refuses to cooperate is to bring impeachment charges. So we have a very, very serious job. We need to look at the facts and we’ve hired lawyers, very good lawyers to assemble all of the facts for us.”
He stresses that while he has called for the governor to resign he still has an open mind on the issue of impeachment.
Abinanti was quick to add, “We will get a lot of grief no matter what we do. The Democratic party and the population of the state of New York is split right down the middle.”
Abinanti hopes their Judiciary Committee investigation will wrap up by the end of the year if not sooner. As he puts it, “Nobody wants this hanging over us still as we begin the new session in January.” But he also points out there is a lot of work remaining for the panel of lawmakers and the investigators they hired.
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