News and Commentary

New York County DA Confirms Cuomo Criminal Probe Over Sexual Harassment Allegations
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declares a state of emergency Tuesday due to the ongoing violence on July 06, 2021 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The New York District Attorney who presides over Albany, where the governor’s office is located, confirmed Wednesday that they have opened a criminal probe into allegations that New York governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, sexually harassed and groped at 11 women.

New York Attorney General Leticia James announced Tuesday, after speaking with 179 witnesses and reviewing tens of thousands of pieces of evidence, that the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo were “credible” and that the governor sexually harassed “multiple women.” His office, the AG found, retaliated against his accusers.

At least one woman alleged that Cuomo touched her inappropriately under her blouse during a meeting at the governor’s mansion, also located in Albany. A state trooper, assigned to Cuomo’s detail, also alleged that Cuomo made inappropriate remarks and touched her in a suggestive way without permission.

James said Tuesday that the AG’s office believes there are violations of both state and federal law, and the District Attorney responsible for bringing criminal charges confirmed to NBC News that the Albany DA’s office has launched a criminal probe.

“The New York attorney general’s report on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment may be only the beginning, as Albany County District Attorney David Soares confirmed that his office has launched a criminal investigation of the Democratic governor,” Fox News said Wednesday. “Soares said following the release of Attorney General Letitia James’ report that his office is looking into the allegations against Cuomo for possible criminal charges.”

Speaking to NBC News, Soares seemed to indicate he had no choice but to intervene in the matter.

“I think after today’s presentation, it’s pretty clear that we have an obligation here, and thus we’ve reached out to the attorney general’s office seeking all of the evidence upon which they uncovered and relied upon to author their report,” he said.

Soares added that he and prosecutors had reason “to believe that criminal activity in fact had indeed taken place” but that they have a process to follow before bringing charges. He also suggested that any additional victims who may not have spoken to the New York Attorney General should contact his office.

“For any victim that’s out there who’s watching this transmission, please reach out to our office and we will conduct our investigation as discretely as possible,” Soares told Lester Holt.

It is not clear whether federal authorities are also pursuing a criminal probe, even though James did note that she believed her investigation produced evidence of violations of federal law. The Department of Justice had been pursuing an investigation into Cuomo’s order, issued early in the pandemic, that forced nursing homes and other residential care facilities to accept patients who were recovering from COVID-19 infections, regardless of whether they still tested positive for the virus.

Although that order likely led to the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers, the Biden administration announced last month that it did not plan to pursue investigations related to those orders in New York, Michigan, or other states that had those policies.

President Joe Biden reiterated his call for Andrew Cuomo to resign during his press conference on Tuesday.

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