On Tuesday, President Biden suggested that New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, resign following the state attorney general’s release of a report detailing Cuomo’s harassment of multiple women.
President Biden has called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign after the state attorney general found that Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women.
According to The New York Times, Biden was asked during a Tuesday press conference whether Cuomo should leave office. Biden, says the Times, answered bluntly, simply saying “yes.”
However, Biden did not go so far as to suggest that Cuomo be impeached or otherwise removed from office if he refuses to step down.
This marks the first time that Biden has commented on mounting allegations against Cuomo. Earlier this year, though, Biden admitted that Cuomo was likely to face prosecution.
“Yes,” Biden said in an ABC News interview this past March. “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”
USA Today notes that Biden’s call for the governor’s resignation came shortly after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the results of an independent investigation.
The report asserts that Cuomo sexually harassed numerous women throughout his political career, and retaliated against an employee who accused him of wrongdoing.
Nevertheless, Cuomo has continued to deny the allegations, saying he does not abuse women.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said on Tuesday. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
While Cuomo has repeatedly claimed that the investigation is politically motivated, James’ office identified more than 10 women—including several of his current and former employees—who attested to the governor’s purportedly inappropriate behavior.
“Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former employees in violation of both federal and state laws,” James said in a statement. “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”
James said her report reveals “a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture” of “conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”
Officials from James’s office say Cuomo’s accusers accounts have been corroborated by about 179 witnesses, as well as tens of thousands of pages of evidence.
Employment lawyer Anne L. Clark, one of two attorneys commissioned by the Office of the Attorney General to investigate Cuomo’s misconduct, says the governor’s conduct “clearly meets, and far exceeds” the legal standard used to determine gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
“Women also described to us having the governor seek them out, stare intently at them, look them up and down or gaze at their chest or butt,” Clark said. “The governor routinely interacted with women in ways that focused on their gender, sometimes in explicitly manner [sic] in ways that women found deeply humiliating and offensive.”
Following the release of James’s report, Carl E. Heastie, the Democratic Speaker of New York’s State Assembly, say he and his colleagues plan to review the accusations against Cuomo in depth.
“The conduct by the governor outlined in this report,” Heastie said, “would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”