New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ report detailing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s misconduct has sparked outrage, amid a growing consensus that his time in the Governor’s Mansion is coming to end.
James’ independent investigation found that Cuomo violated state and federal law; had a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees; retaliated against at least one of the accusers; and created a hostile work environment.
Cuomo continues to deny and/or offer explanations for the charges, but fellow electeds called for either impeachment proceedings or for Cuomo’s resignation.
“My first thoughts are with the women who were subject to this abhorrent behavior, and their bravery in stepping forward to share their stories. The Attorney General’s detailed and thorough report substantiates many disturbing instances of severe misconduct. Andrew Cuomo committed sexual assault and sexual harassment, and intimidated a whistleblower. It is disqualifying,” Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as Governor. He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately.”
Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic nominee for Mayor Eric Adams called for impeachment, but stopped short of calling for Cuomo’s resignation.
“Attorney General James conducted a thorough and revealing investigation that yielded disturbing conclusions about the conduct of Governor Cuomo,” said Adams. “It is now the duty of the New York State Assembly to take swift and appropriate action and move forward with impeachment proceedings if the Governor will not resign.”
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, himself rumored to be a potential contender for Governor, released a scathing statement on the report.
“”Andrew Cuomo has acted for his entire career with abusive impunity, but his shamelessness cannot equate with immunity,” said Williams. “He created a culture of abuse which he has long employed to evade accountability, but the creation of that culture itself demands accountability. He cannot continue to serve as Governor, and must resign immediately or be impeached expeditiously.”
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul released a statement distancing herself from the proceedings.
“Attorney General James conducted a thorough and revealing investigation that yielded disturbing conclusions about the conduct of Governor Cuomo,” said Hochul. “It is now the duty of the New York State Assembly to take swift and appropriate action and move forward with impeachment proceedings if the Governor will not resign. Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment.”
Three members of the NYC congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Queens), U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn/Queens), and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), released a joint statement calling for Cuomo to step down.
“The investigation has found that the Governor engaged in abusive behavior toward women, including subordinates, created a hostile work environment and violated state and federal law. We commend the brave women who came forward and spoke truth to power. The time has come for Governor Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and resign.”
City Councilman Brad Lander and the Democratic nominee for City Comptroller called on Cuomo to resign, and thanked James for her investigation.
“He should resign now. If he does not, he should be impeached,” Lander said. “Thank you to Attorney General James for conducting this thorough and independent review, talking to scores of witnesses, reviewing tens of thousands of documents, and providing the evidence for this clear conclusion: Andrew Cuomo is a serial harasser who has broken State and Federal laws.”
State Senate and Assembly Republican leaders echoed calls for Cuomo’s ouster.
“Based on the information presented to the attorney general’s office and corroborated by independent counsel, Andrew Cuomo is unfit to serve in his current capacity,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said. “It is in the best interest of the people of New York state for Gov. Cuomo to immediately resign and if he refuses to do so, the Legislature should take the necessary and immediate steps to have him impeached and forcibly removed from office.”
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) said James’ report revealed the abhorrent sexual misconduct engaged in by Governor Cuomo.
“I call upon our state’s law enforcement agencies to review the Attorney General’s report and file criminal charges against the Governor. No one can be above the law. I also call upon the Assembly to convene a special session and resume its impeachment proceedings,” said Malliotakis. “The Governor’s denial of these investigated incidents shows that he thinks he is too big to fail and it is an insult to his victims. We must restore dignity to the Governor’s office.”
Machinations of the legislature have already begun to turn, as AG James said she is cooperating with the Assembly in the matter.
“At the Assembly’s request, we have provided the Assembly Judiciary Committee with the report that was released today, and we will provide them with all relevant evidence,” James said. “We will cooperate with their investigation as needed.”