Mayor de Blasio called it cooperation. But when a US Attorney questions you on campaign contributions and your quid pro quo for four hours, that’s an investigation and a grilling besides. And when you spend that much time, the chances are there are still many questions to be answered.
Mayor de Blasio tried to spin it:
Mayor de Blasio said he told federal investigators “everything I know” about probes into his fundraising during a questioning session Friday and believes the meeting went “fine.”
“My goal was to be open and transparent and communicative and to be cooperative. And I think it’s quite clear a four-hour interview is a good faith effort to try to provide information,” de Blasio said in his first comments since being grilled by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office. “I believe when all the facts are looked at, it will be quite clear that we’ve handled things appropriately.”
The mayor met for four hours at his Midtown attorney’s office with investigators who are looking into whether donors to his campaigns and his now-defunct non-profit, the Campaign for One New York, got special favors in return.
When you take into account that the US Attorney is none other than Preet Bharara, you are in a whole different league. Bharara has made his legacy on public corruption cases, most notably long-time NY legislative leader Sheldon Silver who will be visiting an upstate facility rent free for a very long time.
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A case like this takes quite a while to come to fruition and will no doubt continue to generate headlines in the days to come. (That’s assuming that the prosecutor doesn’t come up empty and simply drop it.) With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that the mayor is up for reelection this year. For a short time there was talk that Hillary Clinton might be interested in the job, but that rumor seemed to fall apart pretty quickly. Still, do New York Democrats really want a guy under this level of federal scrutiny hanging around and continuing to cast a dark cloud over their news cycle?
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