Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the federal charges brought against Congressman Chris Collins during a Thursday press conference in New York City.
"After yesterday, should he resign or not? You know, that’s up to him, but I didn’t think he was capable of representing the interest of his district before yesterday," the governor said.
Cuomo and Collins have had a series of highly public battles over the past year or so. They sparred over a number of topics, but the governor’s most regular criticism of the congressman was in regards to his support for the federal tax reform bill, which among other things, capped the deductibility of state and local taxes.
Cuomo brought the issue up again Thursday as a reason he felt Collins was unfit to hold office.
"He consistently put his political affiliation ahead of the people of his district. Consistently. The tax bill hurt New York State directly and it had a penalty for New York State and 11 other states that no other states had. How as a Congress person do you justify voting for a bill that disproportionately hurts your state? How do you do that?" he asked.
Cuomo, a former state attorney general, also addressed the specific charges. While Collins faces eleven counts, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud, Cuomo suggested, at the very least, the allegation he made false statements would be difficult to contest.
"They are very, very serious, and lying to the FBI is a fairly straightforward charge; not a lot of nuance to it," he said. "It doesn’t get into the underlying facts. It just gets into the representation made to the FBI. From his point of view, I think it’s a highly problematic charge."