This truly has not been a good couple of months for the Democrat Party.
On both the state and federal levels, high-ranking liberals have floundered. From Joe Biden to Kamala Harris, from Nancy Pelosi to Gavin Newsom — and now this!
On Tuesday, New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned just hours after being arrested on charges of federal bribery conspiracy related to his unsuccessful city comptroller campaign.
Lt. Gov. Benjamin was appointed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who served as lieutenant governor and ascended to the governorship last August upon the resignation of Andrew Cuomo.
“I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately,” said Hochul in a statement. “While the legal process plays out, it is clear to both of us that he cannot continue to serve as Lieutenant Governor. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them.”
Benjamin, a Democrat, is accused of funneling state funding to a real estate investor in Harlem in return for thousands of dollars in illegal campaign donations to his 2021 comptroller campaign.
The arrest of the lieutenant governor, who took office in September 2021 amid a reshuffling in the months following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation complicates Benjamin’s political future, as well as Hochul’s chances of being reelected, come November. This scandal comes at a horrible time for Hochul, especially as rumors swirl about Cuomo’s political comeback.
Benjamin has been charged with bribery, honest services wire fraud, and two counts of falsification of records after the FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York launched an investigation into his campaign finances while he was a state senator.
Gerald Migdol, a real estate developer accused of involvement with the scheme, was arrested last November on charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and other charges. He later told authorities he made donations to Benjamin under other people’s names and then reimbursed them to circumvent campaign finance laws.
Meanwhile, New York Democrats have increased their focus on Donald Trump’s business dealings during his time as a real estate developer in the Big Apple.
Benjamin is scheduled to appear before a Manhattan court early next week.
Author: Elizabeth Tierney