Critics of Andrew Cuomo have demanded the disgraced governor still faces prosecution for his alleged sexual harassment of women, as lawmakers and public figures spoke out over his stunning resignation.
New York Attorney General Letitia James stuck the knife in Tuesday as she described the day’s events as a ‘sad chapter for all of New York’ and thanked him for ‘his contributions to the state.’
James’ bombshell report spelled the final nail in the coffin for Cuomo’s catastrophic fall from grace as her investigation concluded last week that he had sexually harassed 11 women and retaliated against at least one.
Cuomo’s longtime nemesis Bill de Blasio was also among the first to chime in on his resignation, gloating that it was ‘past time’ he stood down, while Jen Psaki praised the ‘courageous women’ who came forward with their allegations against the disgraced governor.
When asked about Cuomo’s resignation, President Joe Biden simply said: ‘I respect the governor’s decision and I respect the decision he made.’
However, when pressed, he later added that he believed Cuomo had done a ‘hell of a job’ as governor of the state.
Calls for Cuomo’s resignation soared over the last week – including from former Democrat ally Biden – ever since James’ office released the findings of its report.
Cuomo finally bowed to pressure, announcing his exit in a press conference Tuesday where he continued to profess his innocence and brush off the allegations by his alleged victims as ‘generational or cultural’ differences.
He will be replaced by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul when his resignation goes into effect in 14 days.
New York Attorney General Letitia James stuck the knife in Tuesday as she described the day’s events as a ‘sad chapter for all of New York’ and thanked him for ‘his contributions to the state’
James announcing the findings of her bombshell report last Tuesday where she concluded that he had sexually harassed 11 women and retaliated against at least one
Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday (above) while still continuing to profess his innocence
Reaction to Cuomo’s political demise poured in Tuesday with several critics – including New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik and one-time political rival Cynthia Nixon – insisting that accountability for his alleged actions must not stop with his job loss, as they called for him to be prosecuted to the ‘full extent of the law.’
James rubbed salt in the wound, writing: ‘Today, closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice.
‘I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state.’
The AG welcomed Hochul to the role, saying New York is now in ‘good hands’.
‘The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day,’ she said in a statement posted on Twitter.
‘We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state.
‘I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.’
Hochul – who will become the state’s first female governor – also commented that she agreed the governor’s decision is ‘the right thing to do.’
‘I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers,’ she tweeted.
‘As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.’
New York City Mayor de Blasio also couldn’t resist taking aim at his longtime foe, tweeting within minutes of Cuomo’s press conference that his exit was ‘for the good of all New York.’
‘Make no mistake, this is the result of survivors bravely telling their stories,’ he wrote.
‘It was past time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and it’s for the good of all New York.’
There has been no love lost between the governor and the mayor for many years with the two men – who once fawned over their close working relationship – repeatedly locking horns throughout the pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo’s longtime nemesis Bill de Blasio was one of the first to chime in on his resignation, gloating that it was ‘past time’ he stood down
De Blasio and Cuomo in 2013 before their relationship soured. There has been no love lost between the governor and the mayor for many years with the two men – who once fawned over their close working relationship – repeatedly locking horns throughout the pandemic
De Blasio has been one of the loudest voices demanding Cuomo stand down or be ousted from his role via state impeachment proceedings over the last week.
White House Press Secretary Psaki also addressed Cuomo’s departure in her briefing Tuesday, revealing that Biden had not been given a heads-up before the announcement.
‘Our view is that this is a story about these courageous women who came forward, told their stories, shared their stories,’ she said.
‘The investigation overseen by the attorney general, that of course concluded today is an outcome that the president called for just last week.’
Several New York Democrats also took to social media to welcome Cuomo’s resignation and commend his alleged victims who came forward.
New York Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: ‘There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York.’
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also said Cuomo’s resignation was a positive move for the state.
‘First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here,’ she said.
‘New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership.’
New York Assembly member Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas said his exit was ‘what NY needs’ and said she looked forward to working with his successor –
‘Thank you to all of the survivors who have come forward to tell their stories. This is what NY needs,’ she tweeted.
White House Press Secretary Psaki also addressed Cuomo’s departure in her briefing Tuesday, revealing that Biden had not been given a heads-up before the announcement
‘I’m ready to work with incoming Governor @KathyHochul to ensure we move our state forward, enact real reform, and address the urgent needs of New Yorkers.’
New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney wrote: ‘This is the right decision for New York. I thank the women who bravely spoke up. #believewomen.’
Rep. Elise Stefanik wrote that: ‘Governor Cuomo’s resignation is long past overdue.
‘Now, former Governor Cuomo needs to be prosecuted and arrested for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual grooming.’
Stefanik has criticized Cuomo throughout the pandemic, publicly opposing his plan to shift ventilators from less hard-hit areas of the state to New York City last year.
The Republican congresswoman was schoolfriends with Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa after they both attended elite prep school Albany Academy for Girls in upstate New York.
Their friendship even survived their opposing political paths until a report revealed DeRosa allegedly ‘screamed’ at and ‘bullied’ Stefanik over her opposition to the governor’s ventilator plan.
Hochul – who will become the state’s first female governor – also commented that she agreed the governor’s decision is ‘the right thing to do’
Several critics – including New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik and one-time political rival Cynthia Nixon – insisting that accountability for his alleged actions must not stop with his job loss, as they called for him to be prosecuted to the ‘full extent of the law’
De Rosa announced her resignation Monday – one day before her boss followed suit.
Republican New York Rep. Claudia Tenney also called for the governor’s criminal prosecution as she mocked that the ‘corrupt reign of King Cuomo is over.’
‘The corrupt reign of King Cuomo is over at last, but the fight for justice and accountability is just beginning,’ she tweeted.
‘Investigations into Cuomo’s abuse of power, corruption, and criminal misconduct must continue. Cuomo should be immediately prosecuted, not just for sexual harassment and assault, but also for his deadly nursing home policies and subsequent cover up.’
Cynthia Nixon, the Sex and the City star who ran unsuccessfully against Cuomo for governor in 2018, branded her rival ‘unfit’.
‘A man who hires and promotes known sexual harassers is a man who condones sexual harassment,’ she tweeted.
‘We knew this about Cuomo years ago. It should’ve never required 11 different women to come forward to finally acknowledge how fundamentally unfit he is for the highest office in NYS.’
Lindsey Boylan, who was the first woman to come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against the governor in December, thanked James and her team for pursuing ‘the truth’ and praised her fellow alleged victims for their ‘strength’
The District Attorneys of Manhattan, Albany and Westchester all opened criminal investigations into Cuomo’s conduct last week and urged women to come forward.
Since then, one woman – Brittany Commisso – has filed a report with the Albany Sheriff’s office.
Commisso is named as ‘executive assistant number one’ in James’ report. She has accused the governor of groping her breast at the executive mansion in November.
Nixon went on to thank the ‘brave women’ who came forward to accuse the governor and called for Cuomo to be prosecuted to ‘the full extent of the law.’
‘Thank you to @LindseyBoylan @_char_bennett_ Brittany Commisso, State Trooper #1, the incredible Sexual Harassment Working Group, @TishJameS and ALL the brave women who stood up and fought back to make this day happen,’ she wrote.
‘This is a good day for New York. This is the start of accountability, but more needs to be done to keep women safe.
‘That means prosecuting Cuomo to the full extent of the law. And it means moving forward with impeachment, to bar him from running for statewide office ever again.’
Lindsey Boylan, who was the first woman to come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against the governor in December, thanked James and her team for pursuing ‘the truth’ and praised her fellow alleged victims for their ‘strength.’
‘From the beginning, I simply asked that the Governor stop his abusive behavior. It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end. It is a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen,’ she wrote.
‘I am thankful for the Attorney General, the investigators and all those who have pursued the truth despite intimidation and threats of retaliation.’
She continued: ‘Most importantly, I am in awe of the strength of the other women who risked everything to come forward.
‘My hope always has been that this will make it safer for other women to report their own harassment and abuse. I will continue the fight to make that happen.’
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean said she as ‘in shock’ over his resignation because she thought he was going to ‘blame everybody else like he usually does.’
‘I didn’t think he was going to do it,’ Dean told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner.
‘I sat there and I thought to myself, he’s going to blame everybody else like he usually does. Blame her, blame them… God, Mother Nature, The New York Post.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean – whose in-laws died in NY nursing homes – said she was ‘in shock’ because she thought he’d ‘blame everybody else’
‘I didn’t think he was going to do it,’ Dean told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner Tuesday
‘I’m in shock, I’m not going to lie. I got a text from my sister-in-law and I texted my husband, and I said, ‘He’s gone.”
Dean has been a strong critic of Cuomo after her own mother-in-law and father-in-law died from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes, after the governor issued a controversial directive ordering facilities to take back infected patients.
She called the news ‘some kind of divine intervention’ after she said they had just attended a memorial service for her in-laws.
‘I will say that I believe that being on the side of the angels has helped us, and he has nowhere to go. He had nowhere to go. He was in a corner and people were jumping off the sinking ship like rats,’ she said.
Dean added that while it’s a ‘good day’, she wants ‘justice’ for both the women he is accused of harassing and the people who died in state nursing homes.
Several New York Democrats also took to social media to welcome Cuomo’s resignation and commend his alleged victims who came forward
‘Today’s a good day, but I will say this, Harris, I want justice. I don’t want this to be the end of the chapter,’ she said.
‘I want those investigations to continue. I want justice for those women, those brave women that came forward, and I want justice for those who have no voice, who are in a grave right now because of his mandate.’
Republican lawmakers also reacted to Cuomo’s announcement, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz leading the charge.
‘How long till @CNN launches their new prime-time show Cuomo & Cuomo?’ he wrote.
CNN has come under fire after James’ report found TV host Chris Cuomo advised his brother during the scandal.
Since the report’s release, Chris has not been permitted to address the scandal due to conflict of interest.
At the height of the pandemic last year, the governor regularly appeared on Chris’s show.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs also hit out at the brothers following Tuesday’s announcement.
‘Gov. Cuomo has resigned, and CNN Cuomo should be next in line,’ the Repubkican wrote.
‘Harassment should never be tolerated, and covering up the deaths of thousands of senior citizens can NOT be forgotten.’
The governor dropped the bombshell that he was bowing to the escalating calls for his resignation around 20 minutes into a rambling speech where he continued to deny the allegations.
Before his resignation speech, Cuomo’s attorney Rita Glavin gave a long press conference where she once again tried to rubbish the accusations of the multiple alleged victims who have come forward.
Besides the sexual harassment scandal, Cuomo is also under multiple other investigations for his handling of the pandemic.
Once hailed a hero for leading New York while it was the virus epicenter of the world – even winning an Emmy for his daily press conferences – he has also been rocked by the COVID-19 nursing home deaths scandal, pointed questions over the writing of his controversial memoir and the alleged special treatment afforded to his friends and family in the early days of the pandemic.
None of these scandals made an appearance in his resignation speech.
Instead, the governor insisted he was stepping aside for the good of New Yorkers, adding that he is concerned about the new Delta variant of COVID-19.
‘The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,’ Cuomo said announcing his resignation.
‘So therefore that is what I’ll do because I work for you. Doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.’
New York Attorney General Letitia James released her damning report Tuesday that found the governor sexually harassed at least 11 women, including nine state employees.
Cuomo also retaliated against one of his accusers, the 168-page report found.