Justin Bullock, FISM News
A scathing and thorough 168 page report was released on Tuesday confirming allegations that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 different women, one of which is a New York State Trooper. The report was the result of a five month long independent investigation led by attorneys Joon Kim and Anne Clark. A total of 179 people were interviewed during the investigation and in addition to confirming the allegations of sexual harassment, the investigation also found that Cuomo created and sustained a toxic and hostile work environment as Governor of New York.
In the report Kim wrote, “[Cuomo’s office is] rife with bullying, fear and intimidation,” and added, “What these witnesses – and many others – described is not just old-fashioned, affectionate behavior – it was sexual harassment.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James held a press conference detailing the findings of the report on Tuesday. Based on the investigation, James concluded that “Governor Cuomo’s actions violated multiple state and federal laws,” adding “This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric that makes our state government and shines a light on injustice present at the highest levels of state government.” She went on to say that the report would be pursued by prosecutors to see if lawsuits would be brought against him.
Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, said a monthslong investigation found that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and retaliated against at least one for making her complaints public. pic.twitter.com/3n7ql1FWpN
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 3, 2021
Cuomo has flatly denied the allegations and said that he did not intend to create a hostile work environment or sexually harass anyone. He claims that the allegations are the result of a misunderstanding of his Italian cultural upbringing and his attorneys released a position paper in response to the report saying that it neglects to include important evidence. He has also indicated that he has no intentions of resigning as governor despite repeated calls for resignation from New Yorkers and even national politicians.
In fact, President Biden told the press before the report was released that if the allegations against Cuomo proved to be true then Cuomo ought to resign. After the release of the report Biden reiterated his position when asked by a reporter, saying, “Yes, I think he should resign.” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the press at a briefing on Tuesday, “I don’t know that anyone could have watched this morning (James’ briefing) and not found the allegations to be abhorrent. I know I certainly did.” In addition, both federal senators from New York, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, both of whom are also Democrats, have called for Cuomo’s immediate resignation.
Cuomo was seen as a potential Democratic rising star with possible plans for an eventual presidential run. However, with this new report, as well as the controversies Cuomo has faced regarding his handling of COVID-19 pandemic policy in New York, it now appears that Cuomo is totally politically disgraced. Furthermore, despite his previous popularity in the Democratic party nationally, he has never enjoyed substantial popularity from New York citizens particularly.