New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) called on Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign in the wake of an investigation by the state attorney general that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed “multiple women.”
Stewart-Cousins put out a statement on Tuesday afternoon after Attorney General Letisha James announced the findings of the investigation. The embattled governor is facing pressure to resign from top Democrats from the local to the national level over the report while under scrutiny for other alleged misconduct.
“This report highlights unacceptable behavior by Governor Cuomo and his administration,” Stewart-Cousins said. “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 substantiated, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as Governor.”
“Our highest elected offices must reflect the values and integrity that they profess and New Yorkers hold dear,” she continued. “I thank the Attorney General and her investigators for their thorough investigation. I also wanted to give a special thank you to the courageous women who bravely stepped forward to shed light on this awful situation. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Shortly after James announced the investigation’s findings, Cuomo held a press conference Tuesday in an attempt to defend himself. As The Daily Wire reported:
During the presser, Cuomo denied ever touching or making inappropriate advances on women. He claims that “the facts” are different from how the media has portrayed the allegations.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances … That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
Cuomo talked specifically about one of the sexual assault allegations lobbed against him by his former assistant Charlotte Bennettt. Bennett alleged that Cuomo asked her questions about her sex life, whether she had a monogamous relationship, and if she would consider having a sexual relationship with an older man.
The governor also shared a slideshow of pictures with him kissing and hugging men and women in public. He argued that he makes these “gestures” with everyone as a sign of “warmth.”
Cuomo refused to resign and said that he had hired an “expert” to redesign the sexual harassment training for the New York state government. He also blamed “politics” and “bias” for the accusations made against him.
His arguments have done little to sway prominent Democrats, however.
President Joe Biden also called on Cuomo to step down on Tuesday. A reporter asked Biden during a press conference if he continued to stand by his past statement that the New York governor should resign if the investigation turned up evidence that he had sexually harassed women.
“I stand by that statement,” Biden replied. Asked whether he believed Cuomo should resign, Biden answered, “Yes.”
Notably, Biden did not push the state legislature to remove Cuomo from office if the governor refuses to resign.
“Let’s take one thing at a time,” Biden said when asked about potential impeachment for Cuomo. “I think he should resign. I understand that the State Legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact, I’ve not read all that data.”
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