US President Joe Biden said New York state governor Andrew Cuomo should resign after a report released Tuesday by the state’s attorney general found Cuomo sexually assaulted multiple women in violation of federal and state laws. He vehemently denied the allegations.
“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday afternoon.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said Cuomo allegedly targeted 11 current and former state government employees.
The investigation uncovered a “climate of fear” created by Cuomo’s behavior, which included unwanted kissing, exploring, hugging and making unacceptable comments, James said.
She said the investigation also found that the Democratic governor had retaliated against at least one former employee for complaining about his actions.
At a news conference in Albany, Cuomo denied any wrongdoing, declaring, “I’ve never touched anyone in a wrong way.”
“This is not who I am, and this is not who I have ever been,” he said.
In March, Biden said that Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, should resign if the investigation confirms allegations of harassment.
“I don’t know if anyone would have seen this morning and didn’t find the allegations disgusting. I know I did,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
The nearly five-month investigation was conducted by two outside attorneys hired by the state’s attorney general. He spoke to 179 people, including complainants, current and former members of the governor’s office, state soldiers and other state workers.
James said the investigation was launched because of the “heroic women who came forward”.
Soon after the report was released, several of Cuomo’s accusers demanded that he resign immediately, including Charlotte Bennett, who tweeted, “Resign, @NYGovCuomo.”
The report is expected to be taken into account in an ongoing investigation by the state legislature into whether there are reasons for Cuomo’s impeachment.
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Hasty, who authorized the investigation, was one of a growing chorus of state lawmakers calling for Cuomo’s resignation on Tuesday. He said in a statement that the report’s findings “point to someone who is not a fit for office.”
US senators from New York, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have been calling on him to step down since last winter. Gillibrand reiterated his demand at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.
The Legislature is also examining the aid Cuomo received from top aides to write a book about the coronavirus pandemic, the preferential treatment his relatives received during a COVID-19 test last year, and his administration’s decision to stay in nursing homes. Not publicly disclosing certain death statistics. several months.
Some information in this report is from The Associated Press and Reuters.