Democrats renew calls for Cuomo to resign over harassment findings

Multiple Democrats in the New York state legislature are renewing their calls for Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Hochul gets early boost as NY gubernatorial race takes shape EMILY's List announces early endorsement of Hochul MORE (D) to resign or be impeachment after an investigation found he sexually harassed several women, some of whom worked in his office, and violated other state and federal laws.

New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D), in a statement following the release of the investigation's findings, called Cuomo’s behavior “unacceptable” and said he “can no longer serve as Governor.”

She said he should resign “for the good of the state.”

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“This report highlights unacceptable behavior by Governor Cuomo and his administration. As I said when these disturbing allegations first came to light, the Governor must resign for the good of the state. Now that the investigation is complete and the allegations have been sustained, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as Governor,” she wrote.

State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D) sounded a similar note, calling on Cuomo to “step down immediately.”

“Independent investigators under the direction of New York State Attorney General Letitia James have concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, violating federal and state law. I call on the Governor to step down immediately,” he said.

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The independent inquiry launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released its finding on Tuesday, concluding that Cuomo sexually harassed a number of women and retaliated, along with his aides, against a former employee who came forward with her claims.

"The independent investigation has concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, and in doing so violated federal and state law,” James said at a press conference.

“Specifically, the investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women,” she added.

The renewed calls from state Democrats come after more than 55 Democratic members of the New York State Assembly signed a letter in March calling for Cuomo to resign, citing the allegations of sexual harassment and revelations that his administration altered data concerning COVID-19 nursing home deaths.

Cuomo is also the subject of an impeachment inquiry in the New York state assembly, which is looking into accusations of sexual harassment made against the governor in addition to allegations related to his administration’s handling of data on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

New York State Assembly Members Emily Gallagher (D) and Zohran Mamdani (D) both called for Cuomo to be impeached following the release of the investigation’s findings.

Mamdani called on the assembly to convene a special session to “commence investigation” since the legislative year ended in June.

"Cuomo can decide whether or not he resigns. We decide whether or not to impeach him," Mamdani said in a separate tweet.

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Assembly Member Charles Lavine (D), who chairs the state Judiciary Committee, which is leading the impeachment inquiry, called the findings “extraordinarily disturbing” and the details provided by the victims “repugnant.”

He said the report is being looked at by the Judiciary Committee and members of the Assembly.

“The report is being studied by the members of the Judiciary Committee and every member of the Assembly. We are engaged in an intensive analysis of the report and its exhibits with our Assembly counsels and with our independent counsel, Davis Polk & Wardwell,” he added.

State Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said the conduct outlined in the report “would indicate someone who is not fit for office.

He called the findings in the report “disturbing” and the details provided by victims “gut-wrenching.”

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He did not, however, go as far as to call for Cuomo’s resignation or impeachment. The speaker said the Judiciary Committee and Assembly will “undertake an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding exhibits with our Assembly counsels as well the legal firm we have retained to assist us.”