Monday, January 24

Cuomo Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegations: ‘I Will Not Quit’ | US News

Andrew Cuomo has refused to resign after a group of New York’s most powerful and prominent Democrats joined calls for the governor to resign over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him and scrutiny of misinformation. from his administration on Covid-19 deaths among nursing home residents.

In a press conference on Friday, Cuomo denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and criticized politicians who asked him to resign as “reckless and dangerous” and participating in a “culture of cancellation.”

“I did not do what was alleged. Period, ”Cuomo said. The governor said he wanted investigations into the allegations to be carried out, but added: “I am not going to resign. Period.

“Politicians who do not know a single fact but nevertheless form a conclusion and an opinion are, in my opinion, reckless and dangerous,” he added.

His statement came shortly after a group of congressional representatives included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a standard-bearer for the party’s progressive wing, as well as Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House judicial committee, and Carolyn Maloney, the committee chair. supervision of the Chamber.

Nadler said Friday that Cuomo had lost the trust of New Yorkers. “The repeated accusations against the governor, and the way he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue governing at this point,” said the congressman.

In a joint statement issued with Jamaal Bowman, another New York congressman, Ocasio-Cortez said the latest allegation of sexual harassment against Cuomo was “alarming” and “raises concerns about the current safety and well-being of administration staff.” All of these allegations have been consistent and very detailed, and there are also credible media reports corroborating their accounts. “

The duo added that the six allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct directed at Cuomo were in addition to claims that the governor’s administration withheld data on Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, a combination that means Cuomo “no longer can lead effectively in the face of so many challenges. “

In all, 10 of 19 New York Democrats elected to the House of Representatives have now called for Cuomo’s resignation, and Kathleen Rice, who represents a Long Island section of New York, previously called for his removal.

On Thursday, Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and Cuomo’s longtime rival, also urged the governor to resign, along with 59 New York State lawmakers, meaning nearly all of New York’s top Democrats now they have turned against the executive director of the state.

The New York State Assembly also launched an “impeachment inquiry” into allegations of sexual misconduct made by the six women. State Attorney General Letitia James is leading a separate investigation.

“The allegation reports on the governor are serious,” said Carl Heastie, president of the state assembly. The judicial committee of the assembly will supervise the investigation, which will have the power to interview witnesses and subpoena documents. Forty-seven state senators have already said that Cuomo should resign, more than the 46 needed to convict the governor if charged.

On the other hand, the Albany police said they have been notified of the accusations and that these “may have risen to the level of a crime”, although this does not mean that they have opened a criminal investigation.

Cuomo had previously denied wrongdoing in his treatment of women, although he has offered a general apology if any of his previous actions made anyone uncomfortable.

On Friday, Cuomo, who was the attorney general of New York and Bill Clinton’s housing secretary and is the son of the late Governor Mario Cuomo, said: “I am not part of the political club.”

He said it was unclear why all the sexual misconduct allegations had now been made. He said they should be taken very seriously, but denied any inappropriate behavior.

“Look, it’s very simple: I never harassed anyone. I’ve never abused anyone, ”Cuomo said.

“You need to know the facts before making a decision,” he said, referring to his critics. “People know the difference between playing politics, bowing down to the cancellation of culture and the truth.”

On nursing home deaths, the governor has previously claimed that his administration had to verify the deaths of hospital residents, but critics questioned why that had not delayed the release of data in other states. Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent days, Cuomo has been calling on lawmakers and supporters to ask them to refrain from calling for his resignation and instead support ongoing investigations.

In recent weeks, calls for Cuomo’s impeachment or resignation have come from Republicans or left-wing Democrats in New York City. But more Democratic lawmakers from upstate and surrounding communities are now urging Cuomo to resign as investigations into his conduct continue.

Along with an allegation that the governor groped an aide at the Executive Mansion last year, Cuomo faces allegations of sexually suggestive comments and behavior toward women, including aides. One attendee said he asked her if she would ever have sex with an older man. And another aide claimed that Cuomo kissed her once without her consent, and said aides to the governor publicly defamed her after she accused him of sexual harassment.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has repeatedly said that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support the attorney general’s investigation into the harassment allegations.

Spokespersons for Democratic New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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