WINDSOR TERRACE — Following the release of a report detailing allegations of sexual abuse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing mounting calls to step down — including from President Joe Biden.
“He should resign,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday, Aug. 3, the day the report came out.
Another high-profile Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also urged fellow Democrat Cuomo to step down.
“Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the governor to resign,” she said in a statement.
Cuomo, a three-term governor, sexually harassed multiple women and retaliated against one of them for going public with her allegations, according to a 165-page report by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. The investigation also found that Cuomo’s actions violated state and federal laws.
The next step for Cuomo could be impeachment.
“It is abundantly clear to me that the governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement. “Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.”
Under New York’s Constitution, the assembly would draft articles of impeachment and a trial would take place in the senate. No timetable has been set, but the inquiry could be wrapped up in four weeks and a trial could begin in October.
Cuomo defended himself after the attorney general’s report was released.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire life in public view. That is just not who I am,” he said.
The governor did acknowledge that he does kiss and hug people as a form of greeting and that it might make people uncomfortable.
“I do embrace people. I do hug people. Men and women. … On occasion, I slip and say ‘sweetheart or darling or honey,’ ” he said. “I now understand that there are generational or cultural perspectives that frankly I hadn’t fully appreciated, and I have learned from this.”
In addition to his political troubles, Cuomo could also face criminal charges. David Soares, the district attorney of Albany County, said his office is opening a criminal investigation.
Cuomo is also under scrutiny for his reporting of nursing homes deaths during the height of the pandemic. In January, James released a report that found the governor undercounted the number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes around the state by as much as 50%.