Gov. Andrew Cuomo was at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday to talk about infrastructure, but it was a question about his fundraising that caused a stir.
Over the weekend, the Albany Times Union reported that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office has opened an investigation into possibly fraudulent donations made to Cuomo by a Hudson Valley health care company. Cuomo's campaign has received roughly $400,000 from executives at Crystal Run Healthcare.
"There is an investigation that is ongoing. As you know, you cannot do an internal investigation when you have an ongoing criminal investigation, because that would interfere with the ongoing investigation," Cuomo said.
The governor stopped short of saying he would return the questionable donations. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney also received money from Crystal Run and returned it in May after learning the donations may have been fraudulent.
"If the ongoing investigation finds any fraud, then as we've always done, we will return the donations. That's standard operating procedure. We will do it in this case. We've always done it," Cuomo said.
We asked if Cuomo did his own internal investigation into these donations to find out whether or not they were fraudulent. The governor said he couldn't actually do that, because there is a criminal probe and he has to wait for that to end.
But that is different from what he said in 2016, when he hired an investigator to look into possible malfeasants within his campaign.
Meanwhile, a new poll by Siena College on Tuesday shows Cuomo with a commanding lead over his Democratic primary opponent Cynthia Nixon, 60 percent to 29 percent among likely Democratic primary voters. Other polls have shown similar results.
The Nixon campaign questioned the methodology of the polling, and suggested it might be a very different electorate who will come out to vote Sept. 13.