Attorney General Report on Sexual Harassment
Attorney General Letitia James filed this Report of Investigation Into Allegations of Sexual Harassment by Governor Cuomo (emphasis mine). The report is 168 pages long.
We, the investigators appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, conclude that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law. Specifically, we find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.
Upon completion of our independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment brought against Governor Andrew Cuomo and the surrounding circumstances, we have reached the conclusion that the Governor sexually harassed a number of State employees through unwelcome and unwanted touching, as well as by making numerous offensive and sexually suggestive comments. We find that such conduct was part of a pattern of behavior that extended to his interactions with others outside of State government. We also find the Executive Chamber’s response to allegations of sexual harassment violated its internal policies and that the Executive Chamber’s response to one complainant’s allegations constituted unlawful retaliation. In addition, we conclude that the culture of fear and intimidation, the normalization of inappropriate comments and interactions, and the poor enforcement of the policies and safeguards, contributed to the sexual harassment, retaliation, and an overall hostile work environment in the Executive Chamber.
Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, Inquiry Finds
The WSJ reports Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, Inquiry Finds
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women during his time in office in violation of state and federal law and created a “climate of fear” in his administration, state Attorney General Letitia James said.
Ms. James said outside investigators uncovered conduct that was “deeply disturbing” and often involved younger women.
President Biden said Mr. Cuomo should resign, joining renewed calls from Republicans and some Democrats for the third-term Democratic governor to step down. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) also called on Mr. Cuomo to resign, citing the completion of the report.
In at least one case, the 165-page report released Tuesday said Mr. Cuomo and his staff retaliated against a former adviser after she publicly aired allegations of sexual harassment last year.
“This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government,” Ms. James said at a news conference.
A female member of Mr. Cuomo’s State Police protective detail, told investigators the governor touched her on the hip and back while she was on duty. At one point Mr. Cuomo asked the Trooper why she would want to get married, because “it always ends in divorce, and you lose money, and your sex drive goes down.”
Cuomo Denies the Charges
New York Assembly Speaker Says Cuomo Should Not Be in Office
Bloomberg reports Cuomo Should No Longer Be in Office, N.Y. Assembly Speaker Says.
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said it is “abundantly clear” that Governor Andrew Cuomo “has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office.”
Heastie’s statement follows the release of a state attorney general’s report that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the nation’s most senior Democrats, both joined a chorus of politicians demanding Cuomo step down.
Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, has defiantly refused to resign. The next step likely falls with the Assembly, which has been considering whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against Cuomo.
James said in a statement that she sent the Judiciary Committee the report, and would provide all relevant evidence.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine, chair of the panel, called the findings “extraordinarily disturbing.” The report is being studied by the panel as well as every member of the Assembly, Lavine said in a statement.
Calling for Resignation
Joining Biden in calling for Cuomo's resignation are Carl Heastie, New York Assembly Speaker and New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
This is the equivalent of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for the resignation of Joe Biden.
In addition, New York’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, joined nearly all of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation in calling for Cuomo to quit months ago.
Dozens of Democrats in the state Legislature similarly called for Cuomo to quit months ago.
New York Impeachment Process
Politico describes the Outlines of Impeachment.
A pre-impeachment investigation is not required, but the Assembly Judiciary Committee has embarked upon one parallel to the investigation overseen by James’ office. The committee, scheduled to hold its next meeting on Monday, is due to report back to the Assembly when its investigation is complete. It is uncertain how long the process will take.
Impeachment would require the support of a simple majority of the Assembly’s 150 members.
If that occurs, the case would go to a High Court of Impeachment, consisting of all sitting state senators — except the majority leader — and the seven members of New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who has called for Cuomo’s resignation, also holds the title of Senate president pro tempore and is second in the line of succession. She would serve as acting lieutenant governor if the governor is removed and the current lieutenant governor takes over. Because of the perception of a conflict of interest, the state Constitution forbids the majority leader from having a vote.
That leaves a 69-person body made up of senators and judges, of which two-thirds, or 46, would have to vote to convict for the governor to be removed.
How Quickly Things Change
Cuomo initially received widespread praise for what is now widely recognized as blatant mishandling of the Covid crisis.
On August 17, 2020, Cuomo gave a key speech at the Democratic National Convention. Supposedly, he was a rising star in the party.
Now key members of his own party have turned on Cuomo like rabid dogs chasing a rabbit.
Cuomo Will Not Survive
One way or another Cuomo will be gone. He will resign in disgrace or be impeached and removed.
I suspect a Richard Nixon play. Look for Cuomo to resign.