Democrats in Congress call on Cuomo to step down amid sexual harassment findings

WASHINGTON — Democratic members of Congress in Washington and New York are calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign, following an investigation by the state attorney general’s office that found Cuomo sexually harassed almost a dozen women, including employees in his office, and violated state and federal laws.

“As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate and completely unacceptable,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in a joint statement.

No elected official is above the law, they said, adding that “we continue to believe that the Governor should resign.”

The state attorney general’s office found that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, nine of whom are current and former state employees — and one of whom is a New York State Trooper. “None of them welcomed it and all of them found it uncomfortable,” New York Attorney General Letitia James told reporters Tuesday.

Shortly after the report was released, Cuomo denied the claims. In a lengthy statement, in which he singled out one of his accusers by name in order to respond, Cuomo bluntly stated, “I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

Democratic members of the New York congressional delegation also made a renewed call for Cuomo to resign.

The report is “deeply disturbing, clear and thorough,” said House members, including Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., following the release of the findings.

“For the good of New York State, Andrew Cuomo must resign,” they said.

James’s investigators detailed in graphic terms instances of harassment they say Cuomo perpetuated, including making sexual comments and grabbing women.

Cuomo is accused of “a pattern of inappropriate conduct” with a staff member described as “Executive Assistant #1,” which included kissing her on the lips at least once, grabbing her buttocks during hugs, asking multiple times about whether she had cheated or would cheat on her husband and once reaching under her blouse and grabbing her breast, according to the report.

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

Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing since allegations against him were first made public earlier this year.

In March, President Joe Biden said that Cuomo should resign if the investigation into the governor’s conduct confirmed allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Olivia Olander contributed.

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