New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Friday once again refused to resign even as seven women have now accused him of sexual harassment and state Democratic lawmakers have opened an impeachment investigation against him. Cuomo called those lawmakers “reckless” and “dangerous” during a phone conference with reporters and vowed that he would not bow to “cancel culture.”
The majority of House Democrats from New York stunned the political world Friday by making coordinated announcements calling for Cuomo’s resignation after Democrats in the state Assembly launched an impeachment investigation the day before. On the same day, a female reporter named Jessica Bakeman became the seventh woman to come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against the governor, writing in New York magazine that Cuomo touched her inappropriately and that “he uses touching and sexual innuendo to stoke fear in us. That is the textbook definition of sexual harassment.”
Cuomo is also under investigation by an independent probe appointed by the New York State attorney general’s office and is still facing criticism over his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic and his executive orders sending COVID-19-positive patients from hospitals to nursing homes and group homes for people with disabilities.
Addressing the sexual harassment allegations, the governor reiterated his position that New Yorkers should wait for the investigations to be completed before forming an opinion of the facts.
“There are often many motivations for making an allegation. And that is why you need to know the facts before you make a decision. There are now two reviews under way. No one wants them to happen more quickly and more thoroughly than I do. Let them do it,” Cuomo said.
“I’m not going to argue this issue in the press. That is not how it is done; that is not the way it should be done. Serious allegations should be weighed seriously, right? That’s why they are called serious,” Cuomo lectured reporters, adding that there’s a difference between “facts” and “opinions.”
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion, are in my opinion, reckless and dangerous,” he charged. “The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance. That, my friends, is politics at its worst.”
Continuing, he said politicians take positions for “political expediency,” among other reasons.
“People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth,” Cuomo said. “Let the review proceed. I’m not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians; I was elected by the people.
“Part of this is that I am not part of the political club, and you know what? I’m proud of it,” Cuomo, the son of Mario Cuomo, a former governor of New York and ex-husband of Kerry Kennedy, the third daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, audaciously claimed.
He further denied the allegations against him, saying he has “been in the public eye my entire life” and won multiple elections under public scrutiny. He reiterated that voters should wait for the completed reports from the attorney general’s independent probe, saying “an opinion without facts is irresponsible.”
After fielding questions from reporters, Cuomo concluded, “Politics is part of all of this. But I just will focus on my job. In the meantime, I want to make it clear that what is being alleged just did not happen. The last allegation is not true and I’ve not had a sexual relationship that was inappropriate, period.”