Sunday, December 5

Letitia James: The New York Prosecutor Who Investigated Cuomo For Sexual Harassment Announces Her Run For State Governor | International


Prosecutor Letitia James, during a press conference, last May.
Prosecutor Letitia James, during a press conference, last May.BRENDAN MCDERMID (Reuters)

The scriptwriters of the intrigue series have it easy when it comes to inventing convoluted plots, they only need to look at the warp of calculations and interests and, more specifically, of ambitions unleashed within the parties. Within the Democrat, the 62-year-old attorney general of New York, Letitia James, has starred in a political carambola this Friday by announcing that she aspires to govern the State, the same one that, with her investigations, contributed to evicting her veteran coreligionist Andrew Cuomo after five months of investigations into several allegations of sexual harassment. To make matters worse, James’ announcement comes a few hours after the politician fell another lawsuit for forcibly touching another woman’s breast, in December 2020. The umpteenth since the beginning of the year began its decline to the hells.

A spokesman for the ousted Cuomo has been quick to react to the announcement of James’ candidacy, assuring that the prosecutor used his official office to gain ground and political influence. James’ move also allegedly corroborates Cuomo’s exculpatory allegation about the investigations against him, which he has always considered were politically motivated. But the truth is that, a year before the elections to elect the highest authority in the State – Katy Hochul has replaced Cuomo since his resignation in August – the Democratic swords cannot be higher.

Both pioneers in their respective positions today, James and Hochul may not be the only candidates for the Democratic nomination. In recent weeks, outgoing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and ombudsman Jumaane D. Williams have also shown their intention to fight. Democrats fear that a primaries with too many participants constitute an opportunity for squabbles between the different sensitivities of the party to erupt in an open fight. Again, New York as a test bed for the future of the Democratic Party.

Because behind each of those names there is theoretically a current: the centrist, after Hochul, 63 years old; the most progressive or leftist, after Williams, and after James, a mixture of pragmatism and possibilism. The prosecutor, known for her legal offensive against the National Rifle Association (ANR, in its English acronym; main lobby proarmas) and who is also investigating former President Donald Trump for irregularities in his businesses, began her political career in the city hall and continued as an ombudsman, in the orbit of an important progressive group within the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party (party of the working families); subsequently it has turned towards the center, but without losing its good relations with the unions.

James presents himself as a “force for change,” according to the video released today as a preview of his show. “I am running for Governor of New York because I have the experience, the vision and the courage to stand up to the powerful on behalf of all New Yorkers. Let’s do this together, ”explains James on the campaign’s official Twitter account. “I have spent my career guided by a simple principle: stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable,” he added. The Trump Administration, he boasts, has been sued “up to 76 times, but (…) who keeps the account?” He wrote on Twitter. James has also sued the drug companies responsible for the serious opioid crisis.

According to the newspaper The New York Post, the fate of former Governor Cuomo seems cast, with his arrest likely next week. In parallel to two investigations into cases of sexual harassment, another was conducted for the concealment or makeup of data on those who died from covid-19 in nursing homes in the State during the last of their three consecutive terms. Legal actions precipitated in record time the fall of the once almighty and popular governor, who was considered a model for managing the pandemic. Cuomo resigned as governor in August after 10 1/2 years in office. He did so cornered by evidence that he had sexually harassed 11 women. With the case opened this Thursday, there are already twelve complainants.

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