New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday claimed the pending report from the state attorney general’s sexual harassment investigation into him won’t be different from his denial because he “didn’t do anything wrong.”
The first question to the Democratic governor during his press conference was about sexual harassment and whether he sexually harassed multiple women, prompting Cuomo to say, “No.”
“If Letitia James’ report comes back and finds the contrary, considering that you’ve said zero tolerance for sexual harassment in this state, will you discipline yourself or consider resigning?” another reporter asked.
“Yeah, the report can’t say anything different, because I didn’t do anything wrong,” Cuomo said.
Debra Katz, who represents Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett, slammed Cuomo in a press release for his comments at the news conference, saying he “continued his effort to actively undermine the Attorney General’s independent investigation into his sexual harassment of my client, Charlotte Bennett, and numerous other women.”
“Cuomo’s efforts to undermine this investigation are part of a broader effort to evade accountability for his actions, and members of the NY State Assembly must be prepared to accept the Attorney General’s findings when the appointed investigators conclude their work and include them as part of their impeachment proceedings,” Katz wrote.
“At least nine women have come forward who have credibly accused him of unwelcome advances, unwelcome touching, and/or aggressive groping. This behavior is unequivocally wrong and unlawful,” she continued.
In recent months, Cuomo has attempted to avoid questions from reporters about multiple scandals, including sexual harassment allegations, by barring them from attending his news conferences and events around the state. However, with short notice, he invited the media to attend his event in person on Monday in Syracuse to announce that New York’s state fair must go on as scheduled.
New York Attorney General Letitia James first called for Cuomo to make a referral for an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against him in late February.
“Allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously,” James said. “There must be a truly independent investigation to thoroughly review these troubling allegations against the governor, and I stand ready to oversee that investigation and make any appointments necessary.”
During a virtual briefing last week, a reporter asked Cuomo whether he would resign if James’ review found that he committed sexual harassment “under the definition in the handbook.”
“Let the review proceed, then there will be a lot to talk about in the review,” Cuomo replied. “There has been one side of the story.”