Thursday, January 20

Andrew Cuomo: New York Governor Resists Democratic Pressure and Refuses to Resign | International


Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference on March 8.
Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference on March 8.Seth Wenig / AP

The scandals surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo have jumped this Friday from New York to the Congress of Washington. The chorus of Democratic voices that demand the resignation of the state governor for allegations of sexual harassment of six women and for masking the data on deaths from covid-19 in nursing homes threatens to become a snowball that buries his political career, although the politician has reiterated that he does not intend to resign. A dozen Democratic congressmen from New York, including the important Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler, joined this Friday the group of 55 state legislators, also Democrats, who on Thursday demanded their resignation. That same day, the State Assembly ordered an investigation into both cases that opens the door to a possible impeachment.

In a telephone press conference, Cuomo has upheld his innocence and assured that he will focus on his work. “I have never harassed anyone, nor attacked, nor abused. There are always motivations for making accusations of this kind [por las seis mujeres que denuncian haber sido acosadas]. I am not resigning, I am going to focus on my job and assist with ongoing investigations so that we can really learn the facts. I do not think it is responsible to take a position on these serious accusations before knowing the facts, “he said this Friday.

Cuomo has thus come up against the biggest offensive against him so far, the coordinated movement of the nine congressmen, who maintain that the allegations against the veteran Democratic politician are credible and alarming. The mayor of New York, also a Democrat – and a sworn enemy of Cuomo – Bill de Blasio, even called them shameful. “The repeated accusations against the governor, and the way in which he has responded to them, make it impossible for him to continue serving as governor at this point,” said Congressman Nadler, chairman of the judicial committee of the House of Representatives, in a statement. published on the social network Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, links the two scandals to conclude, through a statement also posted on Twitter, that “in view of such challenges, Governor Cuomo cannot continue to lead [el Estado]”. In his third consecutive term, the governor has stated at least twice that he does not intend to resign, but his intention may be buried under pressure from his co-religionists. The veteran politician, who garnered great popularity for his management of the first wave of the pandemic, has chanted several times a MEA culpa for their behavior, “which could have been misinterpreted” by the six women who, so far, have denounced in the media and social networks the harassment to which they were subjected by the governor. All but one of them were working with him when the events allegedly occurred. Cuomo has also apologized for the discomfort his “unconscious behavior” may have caused the young women.

Besides of crescendo of Democratic voices, the investigation commissioned on Thursday by the judicial committee of the New York State Assembly, which will run in parallel to the investigations ordered by the New York attorney general and those of the Albany police – the seat of the Assembly -, opens the way to a possible impeachment, or impeachment, of the governor, which would be the first in more than a century in the state. In his statement, Congressman Nadler distinguishes between the hypothetical criminal responsibilities arising from the investigations – the Albany police are trying to find out if one of the cases was a crime, having existed according to the victim touching – and “the question of trust” in political leadership.

For the most critical Democrats, who do not question the presumption of innocence despite “believing the women and the existing information about the facts,” what is at stake is Cuomo’s solvency as administrator, weakened by a growing loss of confidence in its management. “The governor has lost the trust of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign, ”concludes Nadler, a heavyweight in the establishment democrat.

The clear path of the New York Assembly to an eventual impeachment he has put all the cards on the table, since there seem to be no other options than resignation or impeachment. New York is enraptured by the plummeting, and in record time, of the rising star of the Democratic Party, who came to cherish the idea of ​​being the new attorney general of Joe Biden’s Administration – a lawyer by training, he has already exercised that function in New York between 2007 and 2010- and that in just one year has gone from hero due to his management of the pandemic to villain. His political future is reduced by leaps and bounds, after this weekend the Democratic leader of the state Senate withdrew his support, and a third of the Legislature called for his resignation or the start of a impeachment. The New York Assembly has also initiated the procedures to deprive it of the emergency powers that were unanimously granted a year ago to manage the pandemic.

Like a car without brakes and going downhill, Cuomo’s political career began to go awry when in January it was learned that a dozen public health experts from his Administration had resigned during the pandemic due to discrepancies with their decisions about the vaccination system or the closures of the economy, and in general for his executive way of doing politics. A few days later the case of the falsification of data on deaths by covid-19 in nursing homes in the State exploded, and Cuomo was forced to recognize that the real figure rises to more than 15,000, instead of the 8,000 admitted by his Administration for months ; the case is being investigated by the FBI and a district attorney in New York.

But the auction has been the accusations of six women for alleged sexual harassment, mostly in the workplace. The latest media complaint, that of a woman whose identity is unknown and who assures that she was summoned at night to the governor’s residence in Albany to help him solve a mobile malfunction, is the most serious of all and refers to some facts, presumably happened at the end of 2020, in which the governor would have incurred an “aggressive handling” of the victim. This is the case that the Albany police are investigating, in case it could constitute a crime.


elpais.com

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