House Republicans demand DOJ investigate $637m COVID deal between New York governor, major donor

Governor's office has come under scrutiny for massive deal involving elevated prices for tests.

Updated: September 30, 2022 - 12:24pm

House Republicans are demanding that the Department of Justice investigate New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's office over a massive deal the governor struck between the state and one of her wealthy campaign donors. 

Hochul's office came under scrutiny earlier this month following the revelation that the governor organized a $637 million deal to buy COVID tests from a company owned by one of her largest campaign donors.

The New Jersey-based company reportedly charged nearly double per test than other companies under consideration by the state at the time, according to news reports.

Now House Republicans have requested that Attorney General Merrick Garland investigate what they are calling “a blatant misuse of New York taxpayer dollars.”

The signatories of the letter—including New York Reps. Elise Stefanik, John Katko and Claudia Tenney—claimed that “stockpiles of excess COVID-19 tests” from the deal “remain unused months after they were initially bought.”

“[W]e ask that you use your position within the Department of Justice … to promote transparency in government spending and investigate this potential kickback scheme,” the representatives wrote to Garland, claiming that the deal “defrauded taxpayers of millions of dollars.”

Hochul has denied any wrongdoing pursuant to the scrutiny, claiming that she and her office were unaware of the link between the company and the donor.