Thursday, January 20

Cuomo is in ‘fight mode’ despite his advisers trying to convince him to resign

(CNN) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s closest confidants spent the weekend trying to convince the Democrat to resign, sources told CNN, an effort that comes amid the fallout of a report that found the governor harassed. sexually multiple women.

Cuomo, a source said, cannot accept the end of his time in office and tells his inner circle: “I need more time.”

Another source in close contact with the governor’s close advisers said that “no one in his inner circle of friends or staff” believed, until last week, that Cuomo would survive politically and should resign or face impeachment. Despite the consensus, “he believes it can wait,” said that source.

Will Cuomo give in to pressure from investigations against him? 1:28

A report released last week by New York Attorney General Letitia James detailed the allegations of 11 women and found that Cuomo engaged in “unwanted and non-consensual touching,” among other accusations. The governor has insisted that he did nothing wrong and gave no indication in a video response following the release of the report that he would resign.

Comments from those close to Cuomo’s inner circle provide a fresh perspective on the governor’s thinking nearly a week after the damning report was released, which led to a barrage of calls for the governor’s resignation from top state Democrats and nationals, including President Joe Biden, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the two US senators from New York. Cuomo also faces a swift impeachment effort from state lawmakers.

CNN has reached out to Cuomo’s office for comment.

When asked about the pressure to resign, Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s personal attorney, told CNN’s Erica Hill on “Erin Burnett OutFront” later Monday that right now “the governor is very focused on getting the evidence from the Assembly and be able to make a presentation to the Assembly “as part of its impeachment process.

Former Cuomo employee files criminal complaint for harassment 0:31

Still, Cuomo was in “fight mode” over the weekend, even as many of his closest allies question the governor’s ability in his third term to survive the scandal and some prepare for when the governorship finally comes to an end. according to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who spoke with several people close to Cuomo over the weekend.

“People around him are looking to know what the next chapter in his life is, I’ll put it that way,” Sharpton, a civil rights activist who has long been involved in New York politics, told CNN. “Where do I get a job?”

One of Cuomo’s top aides, Melissa DeRosa, resigned Sunday night. The 38-year-old woman, who held the highest-ranking designated position in the state, was featured throughout James’s report.

“I told them, I don’t see how I survive,” Sharpton added of his conversations with Cuomo’s advisers over the weekend.

New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs has also questioned Cuomo’s ability to remain in office amid the scandal, telling CNN on Monday that “no one in their right mind,” in right now, he would tell the governor “that there is going to be something other than a terrible outcome” if he does not resign.

Jacobs, who asked Cuomo to step down last week, also said the governor is fully aware of how dire his prospects are, especially if the State Assembly moves forward with impeachment and the process moves to the State Senate for trial. .

What Cuomo Said About Sexual Harassment Before Accusations 2:30

“He does not have the votes in the Assembly, which will impeach him. He does not have the leadership of the Assembly, which will lead the impeachment. There is no one to stop him,” Jacobs said.

He continued: “Everyone is in favor of moving forward. And then you go to the Senate and forget about it. And he made it clear to me that he understands that if he gets to the Senate, he will leave. He knows it.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, told reporters on Monday that the impeachment investigation process into Cuomo could wrap up in a few weeks: “You want to make sure things are okay, but also in a way. fast “.

Since March, the Assembly Judiciary Committee has been investigating Cuomo in four areas: allegations of sexual harassment, covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, usurpation of state resources for personal gain, and cover-up allegations of damaged bridge bolts. on the Mario Cuomo Bridge, named for the former governor of New York who is Andrew Cuomo’s father.

CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph, Lauren del Valle, and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

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