Biden calls on New York Governor Cuomo to resign after being accused of sexual assault
According to prosecutor Letitia James, a five-month investigation found that the governor did harass employees, often young women, by kissing or touching them against their will. He also made inappropriate sexual comments to them.
‘Climate of fear’
The inquiry, which interviewed 179 current and former officials of the governor’s office, produced an “extremely disturbing, but clear picture” of the “climate of fear” in his office, James said. In one case, Cuomo is also said to have taken action against a woman who came out with her complaints about him.
At the beginning of this year, Cuomo was still considered a star within the Democratic Party because of his decisive action in the corona pandemic. There were even votes to put him forward as the Democrat presidential candidate instead of Joe Biden, who remained virtually invisible at the time.
But his reputation has been severely damaged by the allegations against him. With prosecutor James even concluding that Cuomo’s behavior violated laws, his position has become extremely shaky. In Albany, the capital of the state of New York, there is even a criminal investigation against him.
Republicans, of course, are gloating over the problems of the Democratic governor, who has never made a secret of his distaste for ex-President Trump. But Cuomo’s own party also called for his resignation, including from New York mayor Bill de Blasio, with whom Cuomo has had a tense relationship for years.
‘Fitting into a pattern’
The two outside lawyers hired for the investigation are now looking into whether Cuomo abused his office as governor. According to one of them, former prosecutor Joon Kim, the investigation showed that the incidents were not isolated. ‘They fit a pattern’.
The complaints concern 11 women who work or worked for New York State. According to Kim, all 11 women were “credible.”
The case came to the fore in February, when a former employee accused him of proposing a ‘game of strip poker’ while on a business trip and kissing her on the mouth. More women followed with complaints about the Democratic governor who has been in power in New York state for ten years.
The most serious complaint came from an employee who said that Cuomo had felt her chest while she was with him for consultation at the governor’s residence in Albany.
Cuomo on Tuesday opposed the conclusions of the two lawyers in their 168-page report. “I’ve never touched anyone inappropriately,” he said. “That’s just not who I am and I’ve never been like that. The facts are very different from what is depicted here’.
But the pressure on him to resign is mounting. When asked by reporters, President Biden said he believes Cuomo should resign from office. Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, also pushed for his departure.
If Cuomo doesn’t take credit for himself, his fate will likely be sealed by the New York State Assembly. The Democrats there also want to start impeachment proceedings against him. The Speaker of the New York Assembly, a Democrat, called the report’s findings “disturbing” and said it indicated Cuomo “is not fit for his position.”