Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the two senators who represent New York, called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign late Friday, becoming the latest Democratic lawmakers to call for him to step down.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” said the two Democratic senators in a joint statement Friday night. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”
Schumer is the highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, and Gillibrand, a former presidential candidate, was the first Democratic senator to call for former Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign, back in 2017, following allegations of sexual misconduct. Franken, a Democrat, resigned at the beginning of 2018 and has since said he “absolutely” regrets doing so.
More than half of New York’s congressional delegation has also called on Cuomo to resign, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
“Governor Cuomo is guaranteed due process under law. Although his accusers are credible and the charges against him are serious indeed, the investigations under way by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and the Albany police must be permitted to run their course before we reach judgment about his liability for any alleged criminal act,” said Nadler. “But there is a difference between formal investigations that may end in criminal charges and a question of confidence in our political leadership. The question before us is squarely a political judgment.”
“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign,” he added.
Cuomo told reporters during a conference call Friday afternoon that he doesn’t plan to resign, encouraged people to give him due process, and suggested he was a victim of Cancel Culture. “Serious allegations should be weighed seriously, right? That’s why they are called serious,” said Cuomo. “Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous.”
“People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth. Let the review proceed. I am not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians. I was elected by the people. Part of this is I am not part of the political club. And you know what? I’m proud of it,” he said.
Late last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) referred to the allegations against Cuomo “credible.” At the time of Pelosi’s statement, two former Cuomo administration employees had come forward with allegations of sexual harassment.
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