New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) falsely claimed on Wednesday during a press conference that his name was never mentioned during the corruption trial of his former top aide.
Joseph Percoco, Cuomo's former deputy executive secretary, was found guilty on Tuesday of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, and solicitation of bribes and gratuities.
Cuomo wasn't charged or accused of any criminal involvement by prosecutors, but he took the time to respond to questions from reporters, pushing back against critics and calling their attempts to connect him to the corruption case "political garbage."
One of the reporters asked Cuomo what he would say to people trying to tie him personally to the corruption trial.
"Look at the facts, right? We’re in the political silly season and people can say whatever they want to say … This was a two-year trial-slash-investigation. There was absolutely no suggestion ever made that I had anything to do with anything. It was an exhaustive investigation, and exhaustive trial, and there was never suggestion about any involvement by me. So when they raise political garbage, an insightful reporter like you will say, ‘But that’s not the fact because we covered the trial and the governor’s involvement was never mentioned, his name was never mentioned.’"
Court transcripts show that Cuomo's claim is false, and that his name was, in fact, spoken 54 times during the first four-day week of the trial, according to Syracuse.com.
Photographs of Cuomo were introduced into evidence as court exhibits.
Witnesses testified at length about Cuomo and Percoco's relationship.
Cuomo's chief-of-staff recalled a phone call between Cuomo, Percoco and herself, as federal agents searched Percoco's house when the investigation became public in 2016.
Cuomo, who is favored to win reelection this year, took a ratings hit while the corruption trial was ongoing. In a Siena College poll released in February, the percentage of registered voters who had a favorable opinion of the governor dropped nine points from the month prior.