Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., maintains attorney general nominee Merrick Garland’s answer to a question regarding a potential conflict of interest in any probe of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was “not good enough.”
Her comments came Monday during an interview on “Fox News Primetime.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had noted during Monday’s confirmation hearing that acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss is the mother-in-law of Cuomo’s aide Melissa DeRosa. Cuomo is under fire after DeRosa admitted his administration withheld data on nursing home deaths from media and lawmakers fearing a Trump administration Justice Department investigation.
“Will you at least commit to not having the investigation done by a person with a conflict of interest?” Cruz asked Garland.
And Garland responded: “With all of these investigations, the Justice Department is open to evidence of fraud, false statements, violations of the law. They normally begin in the appropriate way in the relevant U.S. Attorney’s office. I don’t know any of the facts, but I can guarantee you somebody with a conflict of interest won’t be running an investigation of any kind.”
But Stefanik told Fox News that Garland’s answer shows “he’s not reading the basic news.”
“We need a much clearer response from the nominee to be AG [committing to] making sure there is an independent apolitical, fair investigation.,” she said.
And she said the families of those who lost loved ones in New York nursing homes “deserve a commitment for the AG nominee that this would be an independent investigation.”
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