By Brenda Flanagan
Reaction to the Mastro report reverberated through the State House. The co-chair of the select Investigative Committee expressed deep skepticism.
“The governor did what I anticipated the governor to do — ‘Haha! I have a report that says, I’m innocent!’” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg “Mr. Mastro did exactly what the governor paid him a very large fee to do. And it opens up more questions.”
Questions like — Why didn’t investigators release all those emails and text messages to the committee back when it subpoenaed them? And how can this report be complete without interviews with three main figures in the alleged scheme?
“For this attorney to clear the governor without talking to the key players, I find it questionable. To me, I find it questionable. I find there are questions we still don’t have answers to,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
Huttle says the committee needs to keep digging through the evidence, that the whole truth remained hidden. But Republicans greeted the report as proof positive.
“The governor had no idea so this frenzy to try and find him guilty before he has an opportunity to be heard, this is more evidence that he wasn’t involved,” said Asm. Jon Bramnick.
“And I’m sure people are gonna say well the right people weren’t interviewed but you have over 70 people who were recipients of text messages, emails and the like who all provided whatever was in their possession,” said committee member Holly Schepisi.
Schepisi says the facts add up.
“There’s still enough evidence to be able to look at something and have a conclusion. And I believe that’s what took place here,” Schepisi said.
“It gives us the first clear narrative we have had of exactly what went on at least in the office of the governor and among those many officials who were interviewed,” said committee member Amy Handlin.
But Handlin says the report fails to answer the biggest question of all: “Why on earth would people do these things? What motivated them?”
“It’s not complete and until the U.S. attorney finishes his investigation, I don’t think any of these investigations will be final,” said Bramnick.
And the final question — why — may never be answered.