White House

Biden Calls for Cuomo to Resign over Sexual Harassment Allegations

President Joe Biden delivers remarks to members of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence nearby McLean, Va., July 27, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

President Biden called on Andrew Cuomo to resign on Tuesday after a report by the New York state attorney general found that the governor sexually harassed almost a dozen women in violation of federal and state law.

The president said he stands by a previous statement he made in March that Cuomo should resign if an investigation substantiated allegations of sexual harassment. 

“If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should [Cuomo] resign?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked the president at the time.

“Yes,” Biden said. “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”

Asked if he believes Cuomo should be impeached if he refuses to resign, Biden replied: “Let’s take one thing at a time here.”

“I think he should resign,” he added. “I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact.”

Biden’s comments come after state attorney general Letitia James concluded a months-long probe into sexual harassment allegations against the governor, culminating in a damning 165-page report.

The investigation found that Cuomo sexually harassed eleven women, including nine current and former state employees.

“None of them welcomed it and all of them found it uncomfortable,” James told reporters on Tuesday.

James said that Cuomo and the Executive Chamber cultivated a “toxic” workplace that allowed “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.”

While James said the probe “is civil in nature and does not have criminal consequences,” one of the lead investigators for the probe, Anne Clark, said prosecutors may review the evidence in the report and decide whether to press charges.

The report details numerous allegations against the governor, including that the governor “hugged Executive Assistant #1 and then reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast” on November 16, 2020. The report does not name the executive assistant, who appears to be the state employee who first shared her allegations in an interview with the Albany Times Union in April. 

“On multiple occasions in 2019 and 2020, the Governor engaged in close and intimate hugs with Executive Assistant #1 during which he, on occasion, grabbed her butt,” the report adds.

Another allegation details how Cuomo allegedly harassed a state trooper, including by “running his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip, while she held a door open for him at an event,” and “kissing her (and only her) on the cheek in front of another Trooper and asking to kiss her on another occasion, which she deflected.”

Cuomo continued to deny the allegations on Tuesday, saying that “the facts are much different from what has been portrayed.”

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) also called on Cuomo to resign in a statement on Tuesday.

“Under Attorney General Letitia James, a comprehensive and independent investigation into the allegations against Governor Cuomo has been completed,” she said. “As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth. Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the Governor to resign.”

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