Andrew Cuomo Trying To ‘Friend’ Federal Prosecutor on Facebook
Published October 11th, 2015
Andrew Cuomo and Preet Bharara
ALBANY – In a clandestine effort to avoid the possibility of federal prosecution, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sent a Facebook “friend” request to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The move comes at a time when the feds are investigating the contracting process connected to the state’s billion-dollar Buffalo investment, which has spurred a flurry of construction throughout the Queen City.
Cuomo sent the request to Bharara on Sept. 23, according to a Capitol source, who added the governor reportedly logs onto the social media network numerous times a day to see whether the federal prosector has accepted his offer.
“The governor finds it extremely encouraging that Preet has, thus far, not rejected his friend request,” the source said. "He seems confident his request will be accepted.”
The source also said Cuomo sent a private message on Facebook to Bharara last week that said: “Hi, Preet. This is Andrew Cuomo. Will you be my friend?”
The next day, Cuomo sent another message to Bharara asking, “Hey dude. It’s Andy. Whassup? Can’t wait until the new Game of Thrones starts. Gonna B awesome, huh? LOL! Wanna come over and watch it at the mansion? LOL.”
Bharara reportedly did not answer either message.
A Smudge reporter caught up with Bharara in lower Manhattan last week to ask whether he’d accept Cuomo’s friend request. The prosecutor, who was spending his lunch-hour working on the pending indictments of 25 more state lawmakers, turned and smiled.
“Stay tuned,” he replied. “Andrew may be hearing from me soon.”
Bharara, who spearheaded corruption cases against ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, is “scaring the bejesus out of Cuomo,” according to one Albany insider.
When asked by the Smudge who else the governor has sent friend requests to recently, Cuomo spokesman Rick Astley refused to answer.
“Look, the governor has a lot of Facebook friends and I don’t appreciate what you’re implying,” said a defensive Astley. “We’re done with this subject. Next topic?”