Former Gov. Cuomo hits Trump conviction: If he wasn’t running, ‘case would’ve never been brought’

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Former Democratic Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo recently told HBO host Bill Maher that if former President Trump wasn’t running for president, he would’ve never been prosecuted in the state for his hush money payments.

The former governor made the statements on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday, agreeing with the host that the New York District Attorney should not have brought that case against Trump, because it reeks of politicization.

“The attorney general’s case in New York frankly should have never been brought,” Cuomo declared on-air, noting that state residents who don’t even like Trump are offended by it because it looks like weaponization of the justice system.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told HBO host Bill Maher that the New York case against Trump “should’ve never been brought.” ((N. Scott Trimble/Syracuse Post-Standard via AP)

Cuomo’s attack on the case, which resulted in Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records, began by describing how a large swath of New Yorkers don’t view it as a fair case.

“The trials in New York, New Yorkers said – 66% said the justice system is politicized. And there’s nobody in New York who likes Trump,” he said. “And still, 66% said the justice system is politicized. That’s why I think he’s not paying the same price for these verdicts because they believe it is political.”

Cuomo, who resigned as governor following a sexual harassment scandal in 2021, described that the real threat to democracy is these cases undermining peoples’ belief that the justice system is fair. 

“And you want to talk about a threat to democracy: when you have this country believing you’re playing politics with the justice system and you’re trying to put people in jail or convict them for political reasons, then we have a real problem,” he said.

Maher followed up by talking about how much money Trump got from supporters over his conviction, calling it the “greatest fundraising bonanza ever.”

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Front covers of three media outlets portraying the former president's conviction.

Three media outlets, New York Post; Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker, display former President Donald Trump’s conviction on their front page. Former President Trump was convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in New York City, New York. (New York Post, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker)

Elsewhere, he expressed the same opinion as Cuomo on the hush money trial, saying, “I don’t think they should’ve brought that one. It was just always going to look like a sex case and people were always just going to look at it that way.”

The former governor and former New York attorney general agreed, and then went on to argue that the case was brought against Trump because of who he is.

“If his name was not Donald Trump and if he wasn’t running for president – I’m the former AG of New York – I’m telling you that case would’ve never been brought. And that’s what’s offensive to people.”

“And it should be,” he said, adding, “because if there’s anything left, it’s belief in the justice system.

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