President Biden and other Democrats urge Governor Cuomo to resign

Video Source: YouTube, USA TODAY

By Michael R. Sisak and Marina Villeneuve

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faced pressure on Tuesday to resign, including President Joe Biden and other former Democratic allies.

“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters Tuesday, reiterating the feelings of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and all Democrats. ..

A state legislature leader who has the authority to impeach Kuomo said it was clear that the governor could no longer stay in office. Democratic Chairman Karl Hasty said he would work to complete the impeachment investigation “as soon as possible.”

In a recorded response to the findings, “the facts are very different from what was portrayed,” the governor said, “I have never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual progress.” Continued to rebel.

A nearly five-month study, supervised by New York Attorney General Letitia James and led by two outside lawyers, said Kuomo improperly touched, commented on his appearance, and said it was thought-provoking. Eleven women, both domestic and foreign, have concluded. Comments on their sex life were telling the truth.

Those whistleblowers included an aide who said Kuomo groped her breasts in the governor’s mansion and a state police officer on his security details.

Ann Clark, who led the investigation with former US federal prosecutor Yong Kim, said the allegations were supported to varying degrees by other witnesses and text messages of the same period.

“These interviews and fragments of evidence have revealed a deeply disturbing but clear situation,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a press conference on Tuesday. Governor Kuomo violated federal and state law. Has sexually harassed current and former state officials. “

Many women said they were afraid of retaliation if they reported the governor’s actions, investigators said. At least once, according to a survey, Cuomo’s staff took action “to damage credit and despise” the whistleblower Lindsey Boylan. ..

Findings detailed in a 165-page public report reveal pressure on the 63-year-old governor, who was widely welcomed for his steady leadership in the darkest times of the COVID-19 crisis just a year ago. Did. Write a book about it.

Since then, he has been beating harassment claims, asking questions in another ongoing investigation as to whether state resources have resulted in writing books, and the real deaths of the nursing home dead during his administration. I saw his standing crumble with the discovery that he hid the numbers.

Most of them, first released last winter, led to a chorus calling for Cuomo’s resignation from many Democrats elected in New York. Schumer and Gillibrand said the report only reinforces the first call for resignation last March.

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“The elected civil servants are not beyond the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the governor should resign.” ..

James closed the investigation without inquiring the prosecutor about the possibility of criminal accusation, but the local government was able to use the evidence and findings to file its own case. David Soares, a lawyer in the Albany district, said he would request materials from James’ office and welcomed victims to contact his office.

According to Hasty, the results of the investigation are important to facilitate an ongoing state legislature investigation into whether there is reason to impeach Cuomo, who is raising potential fourth-term funding. Congress has hired its own legal team to investigate countless allegations of harassment and special access to his books, nursing homes, and COVID-19 testing.

Some Cuomo whistleblowers demanded quicker action and called on the governor to resign immediately. Some Democratic and Republican state legislators have joined them along with former Cuomo allies, such as county executives and leaders of leftist parties.

Deputy Governor Kathy Hochul, who will succeed if Cuomo dismisses or resigns, called the actions detailed in the report “repulsive and illegal.”

Cuomo apologized to the two accusers in a recorded response: Charlotte Bennett confessed to him that she was a victim of sexual assault, after the governor was an older man. He said he asked if he was open to having sex with, and the woman wedding he kissed — the incident reported in an article on the top page of the New York Times. Mr Cuomo said he was hiring experts to reform sexual harassment training for state officials, including the governor.

However, he denied other claims for being forged and accused of being forged in the investigation process, saying it was full of “politics and prejudice.” He explained that his mother and father (former Governor Mario Matthew Cuomo), who had physically embraced people throughout his life, did the same, and that the gesture was intended to “tell warmth.”

Cuomo’s lawyer responded in writing to the findings, arguing that in most cases no serious allegations such as groping were made, or his actions were misunderstood.

“For those who use this moment to earn political points, or seek publicity or personal gain. I think they are, in fact, legitimate sexual harassment designed to be protected by law. It says it’s damaging the victims’ credibility, “Kuomo said.

Bennett called the governor’s apology “meaningless” to her.

“If he’s sorry, he’ll resign. That’s the accountability mechanism,” she told The Associated Press. “I don’t think he will resign. I think it’s the speaker’s job to start the impeachment process.”

The report first detailed allegations that Cuomo had sexually harassed state soldiers. In addition to touching the trooper, Cuomo is said to have kissed his cheeks, asked for help in finding his girlfriend, and asked why he didn’t wear the dress.

The report also included a complaint from a woman who worked for an energy company that Cuomo said she touched her chest at the event. The woman said Kuomo pointed her finger at the shirt lettering and read the company’s name aloud. Then he leaned forward and said, “I’m going to say I can see a spider on your shoulders,” and held his hand between her shoulders and chest, the report said.

“These brave women have moved forward to tell the truth to power, and in doing so, the governor may be powerful, but the truth is even more powerful,” Kim said at a press conference. “.

Cuomo has several, including Boylan, who kissed her with her lips after a meeting in the office last winter and said, “It won’t get in the way to touch me with my hips, arms, and legs.” Faced a complaint.

After Boylan went public, Cuomo’s staff released a personnel note in the media, revealing that she had left the administration after she faced complaints that she despised and yelled at the staff. Boylan said Leak was an “effort to defile me.”

In an 11-hour interview with the investigator last month, Cuomo admitted certain actions while denying other allegations, the investigator said. For example, Clark allowed Bennett to ask if he was involved with an older man and said he might have kissed a state soldier at the event but refused to touch her.

According to the report, Cuomo was asked about allegations of catching a woman’s breasts in an executive condominium and replied to a little-known woman with multiple staff, “It must be crazy to do that.” rice field.

Investigations, including interviews with 179 people, including the governor himself, also found that the Cuomo administration was a “fear and intimidation” hostile work environment.

Cuomo has always denied improper contact, but initially said he was sorry if his behavior with women was “misunderstood as an unwanted affair.” He said he’s become more combative in the last few months and hasn’t done anything wrong.

He also questions the neutrality of the lawyer who leads the investigation. Kim was involved in a previous investigation into corruption by the people of the Cuomo administration.

According to New York State regulations, sexual harassment includes unwanted acts of sexual nature, from unwanted affairs to sexual jokes, that create an unpleasant work environment, regardless of the perpetrator’s intentions.

Cuomo defended a groundbreaking 2019 state law that makes it easier for victims of sexual harassment to prove their claims in court. Alleged victims no longer have to meet the high standard of proving that sexual harassment is “serious and widespread.”


Associated Press writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report.


sauce: Associated Press, USA Today

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