Feds’ probe of Cuomo’s nursing-home scandal needs to be interference-free

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Gov. Cuomo is trying to rage his way through the horrific nursing-home scandal, vowing to “take on the lies and the unscrupulous actors” even as he repeats his own lies blaming the feds for his fateful March 25 mandate that homes accept COVID-contagious patients. Will the feds let him get away with it?

New Yorkers who lost family members in nursing homes were cheered by news of a federal probe into the matter. But the Biden Justice Department might buy his effort to blame the Trump administration, even though it’s transparently false.

The probe, by the FBI and Brooklyn US attorney’s office, is reviewing Team Cuomo’s actions in the COVID deaths of 13,000-plus home residents and the ensuing long coverup of the true fatality count. A new Empire Center analysis, using data the state finally handed over under court order, suggests the March 25 order did, in fact, fuel hundreds of fatalities.

In a rare moment of candor, the gov’s top aide Melissa DeRosa admitted Cuomo’s folks concealed the true numbers for fear they might be “used against us” in a federal probe. Prosecutors need to determine, among other things, if withholding that data amounted to obstruction of justice.

The danger, of course, is potential White House interference. Cuomo, after all, has been a staunch supporter of President Biden, and the prez and his Justice Department may look to protect the governor. (Audrey Strauss, the US attorney for the Southern District, is DeRosa’s mother-in-law.)

Any federal probe must be comprehensive and allowed to run its course independently. “We opened a file” won’t do.

Nor should this end with a narrow, criminal probe. If Cuomo, for example, ordered patients be sent to nursing homes to suck up to the hospital industry, which donates heavily to his campaigns, there may be insufficient grounds for a criminal conviction, but it’s no way to make policy.

No, getting all the answers won’t bring back loved ones. But they need closure. As do all New Yorkers.

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