Court Battles

Andrew Cuomo attorney says AG investigation was ‘shoddy,’ outcome was ‘predetermined’

AP-Richard Drew

An attorney for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said on Thursday that state Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) investigation into the former governor was “shoddy” and claimed that the outcome was “predetermined.”

Attorney Rita Glavin during a briefing with reporters held on Zoom said that some underlying evidence from James’s investigation was provided to Cuomo’s legal team following multiple requests from the former governor’s defense. 

She claimed that their review of the “small fraction” of evidence they were given indicated that the investigation was “one-sided,” that there was a “predetermined outcome” and that the report “disregarded evidence that undermined the conclusions and allegations that were made.”

She demanded that the report be revised and redone.

“You can’t start a case by saying you believe all women. You can’t, if you’re a lawyer. What you can say is everybody has a right to come forward, men, women,” Glavin said. “And they have a right to have their allegations scrutinized, evidence collected, and then you make a determination. That’s how our process worked.”

Glavin alleged that Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan threatened the former head of Empire State Development Howard Zemsky after Zemsky disputed a claim that Cuomo had asked Boylan to play strip poker in 2017.

“The AG had evidence that Miss Boylan was tampering with the witness trying to get him to corroborate her and threatened to destroy his life if he didn’t, and they never asked her about it, and they didn’t tell you about it. And they didn’t put it in the report,” Glavin said.  “And that tells you what this report was all about.”

Glavin also claimed that Boylan had sent threatening text messages to two members of Cuomo’s staff, claiming that “she was in a primary battle with [New York Rep.] Jerry Nadler. She wasn’t getting the support from Governor Cuomo that she had hoped for, and she believed that Governor Cuomo in the middle of COVID had shortened the time for petitions to hurt her when in fact this was a policy he instituted throughout the state in the middle and the early stages of the COVID crisis.”

Cuomo’s attorney also claimed another accuser of the former governor, Charlotte Bennett, changed her story regarding being sexually harassed by Cuomo. In another case, Glavin claimed that Brittany Commisso, a third accuser, changed the date several times of when Cuomo had allegedly groped her.

Glavin also alleged that the report included testimony from a trooper who said that another trooper witnessed Cuomo and top aide Melissa DeLosa kissing despite the fact that the second trooper reportedly interviewed by James’s investigators denied it happened. 

Glavin claimed that it was left in the report in order to hurt the former governor.

A spokesperson for James’s office pushed back against Glavin’s claims, saying that these “lies continue in an effort to mask the truth.”

“Another day, another attempt by the former governor to attack the brave women who called out his abuse. Thousands of pages of transcripts, exhibits, videos, and other evidence have already been publicly released, but these lies continue in an effort to mask the truth: Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“There is a mountain of evidence to support these findings, which were corroborated by the Assembly’s report and deemed credible by multiple DAs. New Yorkers are tired of these excuses,” the spokesperson continued.

Attorneys representing Boylan and Bennett alleged that Glavin’s remarks were a part of a smear campaign to discredit their clients. 
“In addition to the Attorney General’s findings, the New York State Assembly hired one of New York’s top law firms to conduct an independent investigation and they concluded that there was ‘overwhelming support that the former Governor engaged in multiple instances of misconduct,'” Julie Gerchik, representing Boylan, said in a statement. “The facts and two independent investigative reports speak for themselves.”
Jessica Westerman, an attorney for Bennett, said in a statement that her client’s account “has been consistent from the very beginning.”

Glavin’s comments come months after a report by James said that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. Cuomo insisted he committed no wrongdoing but resigned as New York’s governor last summer.

Last week, a groping charge filed against Cuomo was dropped by a judge after a prosecutor said that she “cannot successfully secure a conviction in this case” after reviewing the evidence.

— Updated at 7:31 p.m.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Andrew Cuomo Jerry Nadler Letitia James Sexual harassment

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