The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, is a tax-and-spend bleeding-heart liberal who ordinarily would be way, way down on the list of people that this center-right columnist would want to spend any time or energy defending. So give the Obama-Trump-Schumer U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, some credit, Ira Stoll writes. With his open-ended, leaky, and so far inconclusive yearlong investigation into “corruption” by the mayor and his administration, he’s achieved the nearly impossible task of turning de Blasio into a sympathetic figure.
Our story begins back in April of 2016, when The New York Times reported that in the preceding month the mayor “learned of a federal corruption investigation into top Police Department officials. The inquiry revolved around two of Mr. de Blasio’s big-money political supporters and appeared to extend into his fund-raising efforts more broadly.” A December 2016 Times article headlined “Grand Juries Said to Hear Testimonies on Inquiries Into de Blasio Fund-Raising” reported that the inquiries “could wrap up in a matter of weeks.”
Alas, no such luck, writes Stoll. Meanwhile, the mayor and his top aides have racked up millions of dollars in legal fees on outside lawyers to defend against the investigation, and the vague cloud of suspicion cast anonymously over the mayor and some of his aides that have been named in the press coverage risks violating their Sixth Amendment rights.