Gov. Andrew Cuomo maintained he would not resign from office from Friday, attacking lawmakers who have called for him to do so and suggesting he’s a victim of “cancel culture,” continuing to deny sexual misconduct allegations against him in the face of an impeachment inquiry and dozens of calls from lawmakers to step down.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to people at a vaccination site on March 8, 2021, in New York. … [+]
“I did not do what has been alleged,” Cuomo said, saying he had never harassed, assaulted or intentionally made women uncomfortable, though he acknowledged “women have a right to come forward and be heard.”
Cuomo noted he had had learned as attorney general that “there are often many motivations for making an allegation, and that is why you need to know the facts before you make a decision.”
The governor criticized politicians who have called for his resignation, saying “an opinion without facts is irresponsible” and he believes forming an opinion before an investigation into the allegations finishes is “reckless and dangerous.”
New Yorkers “should not have confidence in politicians who take a position without knowing the facts or substance,” Cuomo said, suggesting lawmakers did so because of “political expediency” and saying constituents “know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth.”
The overwhelming majority of New York House Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerrold Nadler, the House judiciary committee chair, had called for Cuomo’s resignation Friday morning, after dozens of state lawmakers had pushed for the same on Thursday.
Calls for Cuomo’s resignation intensified this week after new sexual assault allegations emerged Wednesday, as an aide alleged Cuomo had groped her at the executive mansion in Albany—a claim that has since been referred to the Albany Police Department and the Albany Times Union reports could constitute misdemeanor sexual assault.
“Let the review proceed, I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people,” Cuomo said. “Part of this is that I am not part of the political club, and you know what? I’m proud of it.”
Cuomo is facing an impeachment investigation from state lawmakers, which State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Thursday night he would authorize to move forward. The sexual misconduct allegations are also being investigated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the FBI is reportedly investigating his administration’s mishandling of Covid-19 nursing home data.
Unlike the House lawmakers calling for his resignation, the Biden administration is so far not calling for Cuomo to resign, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki only saying at a briefing Friday President Joe Biden believes women should be heard and the investigation into Cuomo’s conduct should continue. Psaki noted the White House was aware of the lawmakers calling for Cuomo’s resignation but did not have a comment on it.
Cuomo has continually refused to resign as criticism has mounted against him over concurrent scandals and denied the charges against him. The governor is facing scrutiny for underreporting Covid-19 nursing home deaths—a controversy he’s decried as a “political football”—as well as accusations of sexual misconduct from six women and reports of broader workplace behavior that made women uncomfortable.
AOC, Nadler And NY House Democrats Call For Cuomo To Resign (Forbes)
New York Lawmakers To Launch ‘Impeachment Investigation’ Into Cuomo (Forbes)
NOW Joins 59 Legislators Calling For Cuomo’s Resignation (Forbes)
Report: Female Aide Says Cuomo Groped Her (Forbes)
I am a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I previously covered politics and news for Vanity Fair and Mic, and as a theater critic I serve as a