Many New Yorkers are wondering whether Governor Andrew Cuomo will resign after a press conference on August 3, 2021.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been accused of sexually assaulting several women, prompting questions.
Will Andrew Cuomo resign as Governor of New York?
Andrew Cuomo refused to resign Tuesday after a bombshell report released by state Attorney General Letitia James (D) detailed instances in which he sexual harassed 11 different women.
More than a half-dozen sexual harassment allegations have been leveled against Governor Andrew Cuomo, ranging from unwanted kisses, hugs, and groping to inappropriate sexual remarks.
He previously denied resigning and, on May 3, 2021, declared his innocence.
“I’ve already told New Yorkers where I am I did nothing wrong, period. I’m not resigning and I’m doing my job every day,” Cuomo said.
What did Attorney General Letitia James say?
James took to the podium on August 3, 2021, to address Gov. Cuomo’s allegations following investigations dating back to March 2021.
“Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women, many of whom were young women,” she said adding in that it was a violation of state and federal law.
She then went on to add that Gov. Andrew Cuomo also created a “toxic workplace” where he allowed “harassment to occur.”
James’ investigation revealed, “a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture” and “conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shine lights on the injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”
Over 170 people were interviewed as part of the investigation, and 74,000 pieces of evidence were gathered.
Following James’ press conference, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who oversees Cuomo’s impeachment investigation, stated, “the conduct by the Governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”
Read the full report from the New York attorney general’s office
Rep. Elise Stefanik calls on Andrew Cuomo to be arrested
Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be arrested Tuesday after an independent investigation found he had sexually harassed multiple women.
Stefanik released a statement shortly after New York Attorney General Letitia James held a press conference.
“No one is above the law and today justice must be served. Governor Cuomo must resign and be arrested immediately. President Joe Biden must immediately call for Cuomo’s resignation,” Stefanik said in a statement.
“In December, I was the first federal official to publicly call for an independent investigation into Governor Cuomo’s sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. The independent investigation led by the Attorney General’s office confirms Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women, including employees in his office and state troopers,” Stefanik continued.
“The media and Democrats smeared me and closed ranks to protect Cuomo, a shameful chapter in New York history. All of them including his staff must be held to account. These brave women deserve swift and definitive justice,” she added.
In February, Stefanik demanded Cuomo be prosecuted after a report alleged that his administration withheld the actual number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.
Lawmakers call on Cuomo to resign or be removed from office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced renewed calls to resign on Tuesday after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced an independent investigation found the governor sexually harassed multiple women.
The findings of the report were described as “disturbing” by New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
“The details provided by the victims are gut-wrenching. Our hearts go out to all the individuals who have had to endure this horrible experience,” he said in a statement. “The conduct by the Governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”
New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim, who was one of the first lawmakers to criticize Cuomo over his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic, reacted quickly.
“Today’s report from Attorney General Letitia James confirms what we have long suspected: Governor Cuomo used his office to sexually assault, harass, intimidate, and humiliate his employees. He is wholly unfit to serve and must be removed from office immediately,” Kim said.
Brad Lander, a New York City Councilman and the Democratic nominee for Comptroller, has also called for the governor to resign or be removed from office.
“Gov. Cuomo should have resigned in March. He should resign now. If he does not, he should be impeached. If he is not, he should be defeated at the polls,” said Lander.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran echoed their calls, saying, “The Attorney General’s findings are clear. The Governor must resign immediately.”
James said investigators found Andrew Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
Democrats renew calls for Cuomo to resign
New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D), in a statement following the release of the investigation’s findings, called Cuomo’s behavior “unacceptable” and said he “can no longer serve as Governor.”
She said he should resign “for the good of the state.”
“This report highlights unacceptable behavior by Governor Cuomo and his administration. As I said when these disturbing allegations first came to light, the Governor must resign for the good of the state. Now that the investigation is complete and the allegations have been sustained, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as Governor,” she wrote.
State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D) sounded a similar note, calling on Cuomo to “step down immediately.”
“Independent investigators under the direction of New York State Attorney General Letitia James have concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, violating federal and state law. I call on the Governor to step down immediately,” he said.
New York State Assembly Members Emily Gallagher (D) and Zohran Mamdani (D) both called for Cuomo to be impeached following the release of the investigation’s findings.
Mamdani called on the assembly to convene a special session to “commence investigation” since the legislative year ended in June.
“Cuomo can decide whether or not he resigns. We decide whether or not to impeach him,” Mamdani said in a separate tweet.
State Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said the conduct outlined in the report “would indicate someone who is not fit for office.
He called the findings in the report “disturbing” and the details provided by victims “gut-wrenching.”
Cuomo refuses to resign after sexual harassment report
In a 15-minute video address, Cuomo disputed the report’s content and maintained he never treated anyone inappropriately.
“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” he said.
“First, 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 have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
How many times has Andrew Cuomo been investigated?
2021 has been a big year in terms of Gov. Andrew Cuomo investigations. So far, Gov. Cuomo has been involved in four investigations including:
- March 2021: James launched her independence investigation into sexual harassment allegations
- March 12, 2021: New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment investigation
- March 18, 2021: the FBI started an investigation into the alleged cover-up of nursing home deaths at the beginning of the pandemic
- April 2021: the New York State attorney general opened an investigation about use of state resources after he wrote and promoted his pandemic memoir