Andrew Cuomo’s aides ‘are furious about being given talking points and asked to defend him without being told the extent of the sexual harassment allegations’
- Andrew Cuomo, 63, was accused on Tuesday in an attorney general’s report of sexually harassing 11 women
- The allegations were first made in the spring and a team working for Letitia James, New York’s AG, spent five months investigating
- Senior aides of Cuomo told The New York Daily News that they were angry they were forced to defend him without knowing the full extent of allegations
- ‘We were given a narrative and a bunch of talking points that did not reveal what that report did,’ one adviser told the Daily News
- The New York governor is facing calls to resign from Joe Biden and all senior Democrat officials at federal and state level
- He is resisting their demands and looks likely to be impeached in the coming months – although some think he may resign before finally being impeached
Andrew Cuomo‘s senior staff were unaware of the full extent of the sexual harassment allegations against their boss, a top aide has claimed – and are now angry that they were forced to defend him while being kept in the dark.
The New York governor’s team have been left reeling by a report from the state attorney general, published on Tuesday.
The report found that 11 women had credible accusations of sexual harassment.
Several of them were made publicly, but many were not, and Cuomo’s team did not find out the scale of the scandal until Tuesday.
‘We were given a narrative and a bunch of talking points that did not reveal what that report did,’ a senior adviser told The New York Daily News on Friday.
‘People who were asked to do outreach lost credibility.
‘It’s hard to defend him when you’re questioning the truth of what he’s saying.’
Cuomo, who has always denied the allegations, gave a televised address an hour after James’ report was released during which he denied all of the claims, and called the report a political attack on his character
Letitia James, the New York state attorney general, on Tuesday held a press conference to detail the results of her team’s five-month investigation
The adviser and two others said they expected the 63-year-old – who is resisting calls to resign, even coming from Joe Biden – to eventually realize he had to step down.
‘It’s just going to keep going and going until he stops,’ another source told the paper.
At some point, Cuomo will be unable to govern, said the source.
‘Sooner or later this decision is going to be taken out of your hands. How do you want this chapter to end?’
The source is unsure if Cuomo will go quietly, but predicted he would resign to avoid the disgrace of impeachment.
‘They could bar him from running for state office again,’ the source said.
‘His only rubric is through a prism of power analysis.’
New York’s top Democrats in the state Assembly have said they will press ahead with impeachment.
Cuomo would become only the second governor in New York history to be impeached, after William Sulzer was removed from office in 1913, for having falsified his sworn statement of campaign expenditures.
Governor Cuomo is pictured in the grounds of the Albany Governor’s Mansion on Friday. He has not been seen publicly since Monday. The report came out on Tuesday and Cuomo’s attorneys say he was ‘blindsided’ by it
Charlotte Bennett, who worked for Cuomo last year and accused him of sexual harassment, told CBS News she felt ‘vindicated’ by the report
The three sources told the paper they were furious at Cuomo for his behavior, and angry that Cuomo told a state trooper he is accused of sexually harassing: ‘Don’t tell anyone about our conversations.’
One said: ‘It’s implicit acknowledgement of his guilt.’
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing, insisting he never groped the women and saying that he ‘did not say what they heard.’
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said on Thursday that he will fight the allegations.
He said the governor ‘appreciates the opportunity’ to present facts and his perspective as part of the impeachment proceedings.
‘We will be cooperating,’ he said.
What next for Andrew Cuomo?
It looks like checkmate for Andrew Cuomo as pressure grows on him to step down despite his desperate attempts to cling on to power.
Senior Democrats including President Joe Biden are pushing for Cuomo to resign, with some looking to impeach the embattled politician.
New York state assembly speaker Carl Heastie, who launched an impeachment inquiry in March, said Cuomo has ‘lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority’ and ‘can no longer remain in office’, according to CNN.
If Cuomo tries to cling on to power rather than step down, he will likely face an impeachment probe.
Impeachment would be carried out by the New York state assembly which is made up of 150 lawmakers.
Only a majority of votes is needed for impeachment for ‘misconduct of malversation’, according to the state constitution.
The assembly’s makeup is overwhelmingly Democrat, with 106 out of 150 seats, and a majority of 76 votes needed for impeachment.
If impeached, Cuomo would be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
A trial would then be held by the New York senate where Democrats hold 43 of 63 seats and a two-thirds majority is needed to convict.
If convicted, Cuomo would be removed from office, but if he is found not guilty, he could return to being governor.
An impeachment probe launched in March is still ongoing and lawmakers are meeting to decide whether to proceed or draft articles in other areas of Cuomo’s leadership relating to the nursing homes Covid scandal, cover-up allegations over the Mario Cuomo Bridge, and claims of using state resources for personal gain.
So far, Cuomo has insisted he has done nothing wrong and has made no moves to step down as he tries to cling on to power.