Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women according to New York Attorney General Letitia James. Today, James held a news conference to announce that her office’s five-month investigation into the governor had concluded and found Cuomo “violated multiple state and federal laws.”
“Specifically, the investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive sexual nature, that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The AG’s office says this is based on interviews with 179 witnesses. The AP reports:
People interviewed included complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, State troopers, additional state employees and others who interacted regularly with the governor.
“These interviews and pieces of evidence revealed a deeply disturbing yet clear picture: Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees, federal and state laws,” James said at a press conference on Tuesday.
On at least one occasion, the investigation found, Cuomo and his senior staff worked to retaliate against a former employee who accused him of wrongdoing. Cuomo was also found to have harassed women outside of government, the investigation found.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. Earlier this year, he said: “People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth. Let the review proceed, I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”
The report’s conclusions are certain to revive calls for the governor’s immediate resignation or, if he refuses to step down, his impeachment. Many of Cuomo’s fellow Democrats, including both of the state’s U.S. senators, as well as state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and more than 50of her legislative colleagues, called on Cuomo to quit several months ago amid a cascade of harassment accusations against him.
Cuomo issued a scripted, videotaped statement Tuesday afternoon, denying the allegations:
“I cooperated with the review, and I can now finally share the truth. My attorney who is a nonpolitical former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation, and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed… I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
He went on to say, “What really matters. and for those who were using this moment to score political points or seek publicity or personal gain, I say they actually discredit the legitimate actual harassment victims that the law was designed to protect.”
Here’s his full statement.
The question now is whether the New York State Assembly will move to impeach the governor. Carl Heastie, the speaker of the Assembly released a statement indicating they may be heading down that route, “The conduct by the governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”
Some of Cuomo’s accusers are sharing their thoughts today.
Late Tuesday President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi both joined the chorus of people saying Cuomo should resign.
The two U.S. Senators from New York are also calling for Cuomo to leave office.