Cuomo slams AG probe in farewell address

Outgoing New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoBriahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal Chris Cuomo: Suspension from CNN 'embarrassing' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's pre-debate COVID-19 test sparks criticism MORE (D) used his farewell address on Monday to slam the investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James (D) into sexual misconduct allegations against him, calling the probe a "political firecracker." 

"There will be another time to talk about the truth and ethics of the recent situation involving me, but let me say now when government politicizes allegations and the headlines condemn without facts, you undermine the justice system and that doesn't serve men and that doesn't serve men or society," Cuomo said in a pre-taped address. 

"The attorney general's report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic and it worked. There was a political and media stampede," he said, adding that he was confident that the truth would come out in time. 

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Cuomo's remarks come hours before he is set to formally step down as governor at midnight. He announced his intent to resign earlier this month after James's office released a report alleging the governor sexually harassed multiple women and threatened to retaliate against one who spoke out. 

The New York State Assembly announced last week that it plans to release its final report from its own investigation into Cuomo and the harassment allegations against him. 

"The Assembly Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence and issue a final report on its investigation of Governor Cuomo," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine (D) in a joint statement. 

"In doing so, the committee will take all appropriate steps to ensure that this effort does not interfere with various ongoing investigations by the United States Attorney concerning nursing home data; the attorney general concerning the governor's memoir; and local law enforcement authorities in five jurisdictions – Manhattan, Albany, Westchester, Nassau and Oswego – regarding possible criminal incidents of sexual misconduct," they said. 

The governor referred to his decision to resign as an act of service in the farewell address. 

"I believe that the right thing is my service come first," Cuomo said. "Prolonging the situation would only cause governmental paralysis."

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Cuomo went on to tout his legacy, including his stances on a number of issues such as defunding the police and combating the coronavirus. 

"No governor in the nation has passed more progressive legislation," he said, adding that he disagreed with calls among a number of Democrats to defund the police. However, Cuomo said that the goal must be to reform the police and end discrimination. 

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will replace Cuomo at midnight, becoming the state's first female governor. 

Speculation has swirled around the prospect of Cuomo potentially deciding to run for office again, but his spokesperson threw cold water on the possibility. 

"He is exploring a number of options, but has no interest in running for office again," his spokesperson Melissa DeRosa said in a statement on Monday. 

Updated at 2:23 p.m.