New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment investigation said that he made unwanted advances to at least 11 women. Asked to comment about this, President Joe Biden said that the governor should resign.
11 Women Testified That Cuomo Committed Sexual Harassment
A months-long investigation conducted by the state Attorney General concluded this week. It said that Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 former and current state employees.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ independent report came out with details. It said that Cuomo regularly engaged in “unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging”. He also made inappropriate remarks toward staffers. Also, he oversaw a workplace culture “rife with fear and intimidation.”
The State Attorney General’s report included specific allegations from 11 women. The report corroborated each of the women’s testimony and supplied additional evidence. Ultimately, the investigation concluded that Cuomo’s behavior showed a pattern. In addition, they found all 11 women’s testimonies credible.
Biden Stands By Earlier Statement That Cuomo Should Resign
Meanwhile, White House media asked Biden if he maintains his earlier stance last March. Earlier this year, the President said that Cuomo should resign if an investigation confirmed allegations of harassment.
Biden said he will stand by with his statement. Asked point-blank if Cuomo should resign, the President confirmed yes, he should.
However, Cuomo stopped short when asked if the governor should face impeachment if he refuses to resign. “Let’s take one thing at a time here. I think he should resign. I understand the state legislature may decide to impeach,” Biden added.
Many Are Calling For Cuomo To Step Down
With the release of the James report, a growing number of officials from both parties are putting pressure on Cuomo to resign over the sexual harassment charges. This includes a former stalwart ally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In addition, James said that while the investigation’s findings were “civil in nature,” authorities can pursue criminal charges against the embattled governor. Biden himself said he has yet to read the entire report. Because of this, he would not comment on whether Cuomo should face criminal prosecution.
Cuomo Remains Defiant, Denies Sexual Harassment
On the other hand, a defiant Andrew Cuomo denied wrongdoing despite the James report’s findings. He issued a video message following the report’s release and insisted he did nothing wrong. Specifically, Cuomo said he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
The New York governor also said that his accusers misunderstood his physical touches. He also insisted that the women “read into comments that I made and draw inferences that I never meant. They heard things I just didn’t say,” Cuomo declared.
Accusers Also Complained Of Hostile Workplace Environment
Most of Cuomo’s accusers chose to remain anonymous in the report. However, nine of the accusers were individuals employed by the State of New York. While the report did not state their names, it did disclose their positions within the administration. This included testimonies from an “executive assistant” who accused Cuomo of “aggressive” groping.
In addition, the accuser also said that the Governor maintained a hostile workplace environment. Cuomo fostered this environment to intimidate and silence them from speaking out.
“The complainants also described how the culture within the Executive Chamber—rife with fear and intimidation and accompanied by a consistent overlooking of inappropriate flirtations and other sexually suggestive and gender-based comments by the Governor—enabled the above-described instances of harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment overall,” the report said.
Watch the NBC News video of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s response to charges of sexual harassment:
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