Over a dozen of New York Congressional Democrat delegations, including high-profile names Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), and veteran Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10) who simultaneously called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign amid half-dozen allegations of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, with some noting his other scandal involving his administration handling of COVID in nursing home.
“The fact that this latest report was so recent is alarming, and it raises concerns about the present safety and well-being of the administration’s staff. These allegations have all been consistent and highly detailed, and there are also credible media reports substantiating their accounts,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a joint statement with fellow new member of the progressive “Squad” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16).
“As members of the New York delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, we believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader, who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges,” the joint statement added.
Nadler, a longtime lawmaker who has known Cuomo for decades said the governor is “guaranteed due process under the law.” However, he argued the question of whether the governor should resign is based on “political judgment” that is a “question of confidence in our political leadership.”
“The repeated accusations against the Governor, and the manner in which he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point. Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York,” Nadler who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman said she “support[s] those who spoke out about their stories and admire their courage,” and was joining with other Democrats who have called for the three-term governor to resign “in the best interest of all New Yorkers.”
“We have come a long way, but now is the time to finally ensure that this generation’s courage stops harassment once and for all,” Maloney said in her statement.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), who also chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), argued that New Yorkers need a governor “laser-focused” on getting them through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Right now, 20 million New Yorkers need a Governor who is laser-focused on getting our state our people through this pandemic. Victory is in sight and New Yorkers deserve a governor dedicated solely to ensuring that we crush COVID-19 as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Patrick Maloney said in a statement. “Today, I am calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to do what’s right, so our state can move forward, united in our fight against COVID-19.”
The 15 lawmakers released statements Friday morning within minutes of one another, showing a synchronized effort to push Cuomo out of office as they all argued the allegations have impeded the governor’s ability to effectively govern and serve the people of New York. Those Democrats were Reps. Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Nydia Velazquez (NY-7), Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Grace Meng (NY-6), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Joe Morelle (NY-25), and Richie Torres (NY-15).
They join Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-4), who earlier this month was the first New York House Democrats to call for Cuomo’s resignation last week. Republicans in New York’s congressional delegation and on the state level were demanding for the Democratic governor ousting weeks prior to news breaking of multiple allegations.
Nineteen of New York’s 27 congressional representatives are Democrats. Out of the 19, only 16 in total House Democrats have called on Cuomo to resign. Those lawmakers, according to aides familiar with the efforts said that discussions quickly escalated over the last 48 hours after details emerged regarding the sixth accuser, along with Democrats in the New York legislature taking drastic steps toward impeachment proceedings.
However, out of nearly a dozen and a half New York Democrats calling for Cuomo’s resignation, it seems that only the progressive lawmakers mentioned the other looming scandal plaguing the governor — Nursing Homes in their statements. Cuomo’s administration underreported the number of COVID deaths among New York’s long-term care patients by approximately 50 percent, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James report released late January.
“Unfortunately, the governor is not only facing the accusation that he engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and assault. There is also the extensive report from the Attorney General that found the Cuomo administration hid data on COVID-19 nursing home from both the public and the state legislature,” Ocasio-Cortez and Bowman joint statement said.
The Cuomo administration for months refused to share the data to state lawmakers and reporters for months about the damaging information. Based on the AG report, the true total revealed that more than 15,000 nursing home residents are now reported to have died in both the facilities and those who were transferred to the hospital.
Meanwhile, only three have stopped short in joining the calling for the governor to step down, including House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), House Foreign Affairs Chair Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY-5), and Rep. Tom Suozzi (NY-3). These three lawmakers said the New York Attorney General should finish the probe, with Suozzi and Meeks adding that if Cuomo can’t govern with the distractions, he should step aside.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, known to have an adversarial relationship with Cuomo, said earlier this week that he “can no longer serve as governor.”
Notably, New York’s two Democratic senators have so far been unwilling to call on the governor to resign. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday called the latest claim against Cuomo “nauseating,” but stopped short of demanding that the governor step down.
On Thursday, more than 50 Democrats of the New York State Senate and Assembly said in a letter that “it’s time for Governor Cuomo to resign,” arguing that the governor is “ineffective in this time of most urgent need.” Days prior on Sunday, the top Democrat in the state Senate, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins had said “for the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Following the AG nursing home report, one of Cuomo’s top aides, Melissa DeRosa admitted earlier last month to state Democratic lawmakers that the administration didn’t provide Albany the data requested in August because of “fear” it would be used against them by the Trump administration. Her bombshell revelation has triggered a preliminary investigation from the FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn into the Cuomo’s administration handling nursing home residents.
The New York governor has been accused so far by six women of sexual misconduct spanning from lewd conversation to the latest groping of a staffer in the governor’s mansion late last year.
The most recent accuser is the most damning accusation to come into light. On Wednesday, the Times Union reported a person familiar with the unidentified aide claims disturbing new details of egregious behavior attributed to the governor to date. That allegation was referred by the acting Counsel to the Governor, Beth Garvey to the Albany Police Department, saying in a statement the governor’s office is obligated to “reach out themselves and inform the local police department of the allegation.”
Following the Times Union reporting, the state Assembly launched an impeachment investigation, giving its Judiciary Committee subpoena power to probe Cuomo’s office to determine whether impeachment should move forward in the chambers.
Under the New York Constitution, impeaching Cuomo would require a simple majority vote of the 150-member state Assembly, which is composed of 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans, and one independent.
A resolution to impeach Cuomo was introduced earlier this week by Republican members of the Assembly, with Minority Leader Will Barclay saying that “we believe the time has come” to oust the three-term governor.
The embattled governor in his March 3 press conference begged New Yorkers to “wait for the facts,” before jumping to any conclusion. Less than a week later, Cuomo defiantly rebuffed the growing calls him to resign, including those from within his own, telling them there is “no way” he is resigning just based solely on the recent allegations.