New Investigative Report Finds Governor Andrew Cuomo Guilty of Sexual Harassment
On Wednesday, major news struck those in New York and even those across the country. An investigative report was released from the office of the New York Attorney General, stating that Governor of the state Andrew Cuomo was guilty of sexual harassment. The report also made it clear that all eleven women brought up in the report were completely credible.
This report explained that Cuomo had inappropriately touched several women, both within and outside the governor’s office. The investigation also found that he had made many suggestive, inappropriate and unwanted remarks to these women. The investigation described the governor’s office as a toxic environment, one that instilled a feeling of intimidation in the victims.
The investigations got many different accounts of different events taking place where the governor inappropriately touched or spoke to women. There were incidents such as Cuomo grabbing a woman’s buttocks during a photo, or the governor slipping his hand under the blouse of a woman at the Governor’s mansion and touching her breast. A lot of the suggestive remarks included him calling the women by names such as sweetheart or darling, and even one where he called a woman “aggressive”, after she tried to remove his hands from an exposed area on her back.
This investigation was no rush job either. For months, investigators have been looking at endless pieces of evidence, including emails, text messages and more. By the end of the investigation it is estimated that they looked at about 75,000 pieces of evidence in total. Beyond that there were interviews of more than 150 people, including the governor himself and his brother Chris Cuomo.
Democratic allies are now trying to distance themselves as much as possible from the governor. New York’s Senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement, calling the investigation’s findings “profoundly disturbing” and “unacceptable.” They added that they believe governor Cuomo should resign from his position immediately. They are not the only ones saying this either. New York State Senate Majority leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have both said that Cuomo is no longer fit to be the governor of New York and added that he should resign. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the findings in the report absolutely solidify her thoughts on the matter previously, stating that he should resign from his position. Long-time ally House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also stated that he should step down.
The biggest question of the day, however, seemed to be whether President Biden would stand by his original statement, which said that if the report found Cuomo to be guilty, then the governor should resign. Well we got to hear his answer later that afternoon during a press briefing about fighting Covid-19. When he was asked the question on whether Cuomo should step down, the president did not hesitate in saying yes. He said that he believes the governor should resign and step away from the position. When asked if he should be impeached or removed, President Biden said, “Let’s take it one thing at a time here.”
That being said, there is an impeachment inquiry being put together by New York State lawmakers, which they expect to be completed soon.
Another big question floating around is: Will Governor Cuomo face legal action as a result of this report? The answer to that is not necessarily clear. What we can say at the moment is that despite the investigation’s determination that the governor did break state and federal laws, he will not face prosecution from the New York Attorney General’s office. Their investigation was classified as a civil investigation. However, the information is open to be sent out to other prosecutors, should they want to take up the case. This does leave Cuomo open to receiving both civil lawsuits as well as legal prosecution down the line.
So where does Cuomo stand on this whole situation? Well, he maintains his innocence. Soon after the report was released, he made a statement saying that the facts of the matter are far different from what was mentioned in the report. He claims that he has done nothing inappropriate and that his actions have been taken completely out of context. He also is standing strong in his refusal to resign. He is planning to see this through as of right now, and unless something happens down the line, we could see him running for a fourth term in 2022.