Going through requires his resignation from a majority of state lawmakers and New York’s Congressional delegation, and within the wake of much more information experiences detailing cases of poisonous and sexist office habits, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered a defiant rebuttal on Friday afternoon, as soon as once more insisting he wouldn’t step down.
“Girls have a proper to come back ahead and be heard and I encourage that. There may be nonetheless a query of the reality.” he stated throughout a press name. “I didn’t do what has been alleged. Interval.”
This marks Cuomo’s third public denial of allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct, whilst new allegations proceed to emerge. In a present of political bravado, the governor not solely denied he had executed something unsuitable but additionally steered that any politicians who had known as for his resignation with out the details of an investigation had been being “reckless.”
“Individuals know the distinction between enjoying politics, bowing to cancel tradition and the reality,” he added, implying requires his resignation had been an effort to “cancel” him politically. “Let the assessment proceed. I’m not going to resign.”
Cuomo pointed to State Legal professional Basic Letitia James’ investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and the newly introduced investigation by the state Meeting’s judiciary committee, which might span different topics and function a precursor to impeachment proceedings.
It’s a shocking fall from grace for the third-term governor, probably the most highly effective males in New York, who’s going through ongoing fallout from two colliding scandals: a number of allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and sexual harassment, and for deliberately hiding the complete variety of nursing residence residents who died from COVID-19 for almost a yr.
The governor addressed reporters Friday in a convention name the place his staffers allowed simply 4 reporters to ask questions earlier than shutting the briefing down. Gothamist/WNYC reporters haven’t been in a position to ask the governor a direct query for the reason that first allegation of sexual harassment emerged greater than two weeks in the past. Two press occasions held within the final two weeks have excluded reporters. Gothamist/WNYC managed to enter a type of occasions on the Javits Heart, however was surrounded by safety workers and escorted right into a facet room, unable to pose a query.
READ MORE: How Does Impeachment Work In New York
Cuomo’s feedback got here shortly after much more accounts of inappropriate sexual conduct and aggressive bullying by the governor and his high aides emerged in reporting from New York Journal and the New York Instances.
In a first-person account, reporter Jessica Bakeman described an encounter at a vacation celebration for the Albany press corps held within the governor’s government mansion in 2014, the place Cuomo wrapped his arm round her again, put his hand on her waist, grabbed her hand so she was unable to wriggle free, and compelled her to pose for a photograph.
Cuomo joked about making her uncomfortable, including, “I assumed we had been going regular,” Bakeman wrote in New York journal.
READ MORE: “It is The Cuomo Method”: Former Staffers Describe Poisonous Office Below Governor’s Relentless Thumb
A second piece within the journal, written by Rebecca Traister, outlined a sprawling take a look at the administration model of Cuomo and his high aides and detailed a number of troubling encounters involving two younger ladies who had been sought out by Cuomo’s high aides and supplied jobs after assembly them at social occasions and taking a liking to them.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, a former Cuomo staffer, advised the publication Cuomo kissed her on the pinnacle and eye at a marriage and requested her fiance, standing close by, if he was jealous. Biaggi supplied the publication with aggressive texts she acquired from Cuomo’s high aide Melissa DeRosa calling her a “horrible individual” who was “stuffed with shit,” after Biaggi had tweeted criticism of Cuomo’s dealing with of the pandemic final Might.
Texts despatched from Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa to State Senator Alessandra Biaggi display a tradition of bullying and harassment https://t.co/xrXNrUWS8W pic.twitter.com/pgeOon8l8J
— New York Journal (@NYMag) March 12, 2021
A 3rd report within the New York Instances described a equally poisonous and sexist work setting, significantly for younger ladies.
READ MORE: See Timeline Of Cuomo’s Colliding Scandals
In a seemingly orchestrated cascade, members of New York’s Democratic Delegation despatched out statements Friday morning that known as for Cuomo’s resignation. By night, U.S. Senate Majority Chief Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand launched a joint assertion, “Because of the a number of, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it’s clear that Governor Cuomo has misplaced the boldness of his governing companions and the individuals of New York. Governor Cuomo ought to resign.”
Democratic management within the State Meeting licensed their very own investigation into Cuomo’s conduct Thursday afternoon, in what could possibly be a precursor to impeachment, although extra left-leaning members of the physique feared it was a stall tactic, “shopping for the governor time.” An announcement from the Speaker’s workplace Thursday night supplied no particulars in regards to the anticipated begin or period of the investigation.
Regardless of the mounting opposition, Cuomo deployed a brand new line of protection on Friday, interesting to the voters who’ve elected him for public workplace over a long time.
“They elected me Legal professional Basic, they elected me governor thrice. I’ve been within the public eye my total life,” he stated, even invoking his time as a younger staffer on his late-father Mario Cuomo’s marketing campaign.
Making it clear that no politician was going to steer him to depart his gubernatorial perch, Cuomo made his enchantment to those self same supporters, hoping they’d see by what he solid as a politically-motivated try to wreck him.
“My total life I’ve been underneath public scrutiny,” stated Cuomo. “New Yorkers know me.”