New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India De Blasio says he won't run for New York governor MORE (D) argues in a new interview that he would have succeeded in defending himself amid an impeachment trial while maintaining he "did the right thing" for New York by stepping down.
“I feel like I did the right thing. I did the right thing for the state,” Cuomo told New York magazine in an interview over the phone on Friday.
"I’m not gonna drag the state through the mud, through a three-month, four-month impeachment, and then win, and have made the State Legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools, when everything I’ve done all my life was for the exact opposite," Cuomo continued. "I’m not doing that. I feel good. I’m not a martyr. It’s just, I saw the options, option A, option B."
The New York state Assembly signaled Friday that it would suspend its impeachment investigation into Cuomo after he announced earlier in the week that he would resign amid a series of sexual harassment allegations.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said Friday that he believed the legislature's probe would have resulted in the chamber bringing forward articles of impeachment but said in a statement that Cuomo's resignation — set to take effect Aug. 25 — made the investigation moot.
Cuomo faced months of mounting pressure from Democrats nationally and within New York to step down but initially refused, striking a defiant tone after a bombshell report was released from the state attorney general's office detailing allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo from 11 women.
The report included allegations from current and former aides as well as at least one state trooper.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said earlier this month that the investigation found Cuomo "sexually harassed current and former 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."
Shortly after the report was released, Cuomo questioned the accuracy of the findings, saying in a video address that “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed” while denying wrongdoing.
However, the governor, facing potential impeachment proceedings and growing pressure from colleagues and lawmakers, announced Tuesday that he would resign, effective in two weeks.
“This is one of the most challenging times for government in a generation. Government really needs to function today. Government needs to perform. It is a matter of life and death, government operations. And wasting energy on distractions is the last thing that state government should be doing,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo told New York magazine on Friday that he was not sure what his next steps would be, but he said, “I’m not disappearing.”
"I have a voice, I have a perspective and that’s not gonna change. And the details aren’t really that important to me to tell you the truth. You know?" Cuomo told the magazine. "I’m a New Yorker, I’ve lived here, I’ve lived in Queens, I’ve lived in the city, I’ve lived upstate, I’ve lived everywhere, I came to Washington, so that’s … I don’t really care about that. I’ll figure that out. And I think I did the right thing."