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Cuomo allies circulated letter attacking accuser's credibility: report

Cuomo allies circulated letter attacking accuser's credibility: report

Allies to New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York City moving thousands of people from hotels back to shelters Bank of America: All vaccinated workers to return to office after Labor Day US Open allowing 100 percent spectator capacity at matches MORE (D) reportedly attempted to get former staff members to sign onto a letter seeking to undercut Lindsey Boylan days after she became the first woman to come forward with sexual harassment allegations against the governor.

The New York Times, citing three people with direct knowledge of the events, reported that allies of Cuomo attempted to have former aides to the governor sign their names onto the letter and distribute it widely after Boylan first tweeted about her allegations in December.

The letter, which was not released publicly but reviewed by the Times, reportedly argued that Boylan’s accusations were not credible and that they were politically motivated. 

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Multiple drafts were reportedly created, and the letter also included personnel complaints filed against Boylan and attempted to connect the former aide to supporters of former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE, according to the Times.

“Weaponizing a claim of sexual harassment for personal political gain or to achieve notoriety cannot be tolerated,” the letter reportedly stated. “False claims demean the veracity of credible claims.”

One of the sources who spoke to the Times said that Cuomo was involved in creating the letter and current aides sent at least one draft to a group of former advisers. 

The letter was then reportedly sent to current and top former aides, but was never released publicly, the Times reported.

The report comes as the latest development surrounding allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior against Cuomo in recent weeks.

Boylan, a Democrat running for Manhattan borough president who worked as an aide in Cuomo's office, further detailed her harassment claims in a Medium post last month, alleging the governor on one occasion suggested that the two play strip poker and also repeatedly attempted to touch her arms, legs and lower back.

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Another former aide, Charlotte Bennett, 25, came forward days later with sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, including that he asked her questions about her sex life and if she had ever had sex with older men. 

Several other women have since come forward, and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is leading an investigation into the allegations. 

In response to the Times report Tuesday, Cuomo senior adviser Richard Azzopardi told the newspaper that the administration had no comment on the letter, citing the ongoing investigations. 

Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from New York have called on Cuomo to resign, though the governor has repeatedly resisted doing so, saying in a conference call with reporters last Friday that the “people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes an opinion without knowing the facts and substance.” 

President Biden on Tuesday told ABC News that Cuomo should resign and potentially be prosecuted if the findings of the state attorney general’s investigation support the claims brought by the accusers.