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Biden calls on NY Gov. Cuomo to resign after 11 sexual assault allegations are released in NY AG investigation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/TNS)
August 03, 2021

President Joe Biden called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign on Tuesday after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the conclusion of a months-long investigation finding that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters at the White House.

Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in March that Cuomo should resign if the investigation confirmed allegations of sexual harassment, adding that criminal prosecution may also be an option.

“What I said was, if the investigation the attorney general concluded, that the allegations are correct – back in March – that I would recommend he resign. That’s what I’m doing today,” Biden said on Tuesday.

“I’m sure there are some embraces that were totally innocent, but apparently the attorney general decided there were some things that weren’t,” Biden added.

Attorney General James said during a press conference earlier in the day that the investigation concluded Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”

The nearly five-month investigation entailed interviews with 179 people, including an 11-hour interview with Cuomo himself last month. It was sparked by complaints from 11 women who alleged Cuomo inappropriately touched them or made sexually suggestive remarks, which were corroborated in the investigation.

“These interviews and pieces of evidence revealed a deeply disturbing yet clear picture: Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of federal and state laws,” James said.

After the report’s release, Cuomo released a response insisting he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” and asserted that “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed.”

Aside from Biden, several other high-profile officials joined in calls for Cuomo to resign.

U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York released a joint statement calling on Cuomo to resign — a call they first made in March.

“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,” their statement said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also released a statement saying, “It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as Governor. He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately.”

Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul called the behavior exposed in the report “repulsive and unlawful,” adding that “No one is above the law.”