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Gov. Cuomo: Probe scope not based on talks with Feds

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a rally at

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, April 4, 2016. Credit: Charles Eckert

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo acknowledged Thursday that his description of a federal probe of state projects being focused on just two individuals isn’t based on conversations with the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Cuomo, a Democrat, repeatedly has said the investigation is focused on Joseph Percoco, his former closest confidante, and Todd Howe, a lobbyist with long-standing ties to the governor and his father, the late Mario Cuomo.

Federal investigators, who have subpoenaed Cuomo’s office, several state agencies and a number of businesses, haven’t characterized the limits of the inquiry.

Cuomo, at an event in Cattaraugus County, again contended there were questions about the “actions of several individuals.” Asked if that description was based on discussions with federal investigators, the governor said: “No.”

“As far as we know, the actions of several individuals are the basis of the inquiry,” Cuomo said. He added that, as the former state attorney general, he knows investigations can seek materials from many individuals and entities while ultimately being focused on a few.

He reiterated that he would “throw the book” at “anyone who did anything wrong,” even if on his staff.

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