Cuomo brands himself victim of 'cancel culture' as pressure to resign grows

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo walks on the grounds of the Governor's Mansion following allegations that he had sexually harassed young women in Albany New York on Friday. | REUTERS

A former New York capitol beat reporter penned a first-person piece for New York Magazine, where she described what it was like covering Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014, alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment. The governor has claimed his administration had to verify deaths of residents at hospitals, but critics question why that hasn't held up the release of data in other states.

He said the impeachment investigation will interfere with the independent investigation being conducted by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who is charging an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegation against Cuomo.

There are also calls to remove Cuomo from office.

The woman hasn't filed a criminal complaint, but a lawyer for the governor said Thursday that the state had reported the allegation to the Albany Police Department after the woman involved declined to do so herself.

"He wanted me to know that I was powerless, that I was small and weak. that he could take my dignity away at any moment with an inappropriate comment or a hand on my waist".

Additionally, Cuomo is facing multiple allegations of sexually suggestive remarks and behaviour toward women, including female aides.

Dozens of Cuomo's current and former employees also told The New York Times on Friday that working in his office is "chaotic, unprofessional and toxic, especially for young women".

Cuomo's growing list of detractors now covers virtually every region in the state and the political power centres of New York City and Washington.

The state Assembly greenlit an impeachment investigation Thursday as lawmakers investigate whether there are grounds for Cuomo's forcible removal from office.

The committee can interview witnesses and subpoena documents and its inquiry could be wide-ranging: from alleged sexual misconduct to COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes.

"Part of this is I'm not part of the political club, and you know what?" The process is slow.

The viral photo emerged as Cuomo faces escalating bipartisan pressure from state and federal lawmakers to resign, after at least six women have accused him of sexual misconduct.

"All of us are extremely disappointed", Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, a Democrat representing Orange and Sullivan counties in NY state, told The Associated Press. Press Secretary Jen Psaki would not say at a briefing whether President Biden thinks the governor should resign but she said he supports the investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment. "He should have known better".

For the good of NY and everyone who calls it home, I urge Governor Cuomo to resign.

More than 55 Democratic New York legislators followed suit in a letter calling for Mr Cuomo's resignation.

The lawmakers, both from NY, also mentioned the crisis over Cuomo's apparent hiding of data on Covid-19 nursing home deaths. "Gov. Cuomo must resign".

"The reports of accusations concerning the Governor are serious", New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint statement that Cuomo "should resign".

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Cuomo said he would like to let the review proceed. After she arrived, Cuomo closed the door, reached under her shirt and fondled her, the newspaper reported.

Along with an allegation that the governor groped a female aide at the Executive Mansion a year ago, Cuomo is facing allegations of sexually suggestive remarks and behavior toward women, including female aides.

Another woman, identified only as "Kaitlin", told Intelligencer that Cuomo similarly made her uncomfortable when she worked at a fund-raiser that her firm was hosting for Cuomo in 2016.

"I'm sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable?"

The governor responded to the deluge of resignation demands by accusing the lawmakers of a "reckless and dangerous" rush to judgment.

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