3rd August, 2021
U.S. President Joe Biden has advised fellow Democrat and governor of New York Andrew Cuomo to resign, following an explosive report indicting him for sexual misconduct.
“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters Tuesday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki previewed Biden’s statement by describing the accusations levelled at Cuomo as “abhorrent.”
As far back as March, Biden said Cuomo should resign if the New York investigation confirmed the sexual misconduct allegations made against him.
“I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too,” Biden told ABC News.
But in his reaction to the report commissioned by attorney general Letitia James, Cuomo rejected calls to resign.
Cuomo, a third-term governor, denied the allegations at a press conference Tuesday, insisting he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
He likened James’s report to “trial by newspaper or biased reviews,” refusing to stand aside.
“I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am,” he said, pointing reporters and the public to a written defense posted on his website.
Meanwhile, high-profile New York Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have also reiterated their calls on Cuomo to step down.
“No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign,” Schumer said in a joint statement with fellow New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
New York Attorney General Letitia James released the sexuak report Tuesday.
It finds that Cuomo had sexually harassed current and former state employees, including a state trooper assigned to his security detail, as well as women outside of his administration.
He also retaliated against one of his 11 accusers, her office found.
James’s office published all 165 pages of its Cuomo report after speaking with 179 people and reviewing 74,000 pieces of evidence.
Cuomo was questioned for 11 hours as part of the civil investigation conducted by two external lawyers.
James did not preclude the possibility of criminal action, the document simultaneously fueling impeachment efforts by New York lawmakers.