New York’s two Democratic Senators — Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand finally joined the majority of New York Congressional Democrat delegations in calling for embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign over mounting sexual harassment accusations, but failed to mention his other looming scandal — his administration covering up the data of nursing homes COVID death.
The two senators Friday afternoon released a condemning joint statement saying Cuomo has “lost the confidence” of both “his governing partners and the people of New York” to govern.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” Schumer and Gillibrand said in the joint statement.
“Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign,” the statement added.
The avalanche of New York Democrat lawmakers calling on Cuomo to resign appears to be a political death blow, despite the three-term governor defiantly rebuffing their calls, while portraying himself as a victim of “cancel culture.”
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion, are in my opinion reckless and dangerous,” Cuomo told reporters in a teleconference following the slew of House Democrats statements. “People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth.”
The Democratic governor was responding in his press conference Friday to the news that over a dozen New York House Democrats, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called on him to resign in a wave of statements earlier 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.
Cuomo said the calls from those from within his own Democratic Party are “reckless and dangerous” for reaching a conclusion before a pair of independent investigations concluded.
“There is still a question of the truth. I did not do what has been alleged, period. I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives,” Cuomo said. “Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons, including political expediency and bowing to pressure.”
Including the nearly dozen House Democrats were House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney also was among those urging Cuomo to step down. The others are Reps. Jamal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Grace Meng, Yvette Clark, Adriano Espaillat, Nydia Velasquez and Anthony Delgado.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez and Bowman said in a joint statement.
Cuomo vowed once again that he was “not going to resign,” saying that he “never harassed anyone, I never abused anyone, I never assaulted anyone.”
Both Schumer and Gillibrand have been holding out in their calls for Cuomo to resign, despite the mounting accusations against the governor that were piling up daily. The reluctance, especially from Gillibrand had brought up past hypocrisy for cutting Cuomo slack to resign amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment.
On Sunday, Schumer said he has “full faith” in New York Attorney General’s investigation into the sexual-harassment allegations against the embattled governor, but refused to say whether Cuomo should resign.
“The allegations of each of the women have to be taken seriously,” the Senate majority leader said in a press conference following reports that five women accusing Cuomo of harassment. “They’re deeply troubling. Women have to be listened to. I’ve long believed this, I’ve said this for a very long time, that sexual harassment is never acceptable, can never be tolerated.”
Schumer added, “I called for that type of independent investigation, and she is doing it. I have a lot of faith in her. I believe that she will turn over every stone, and I believe that she will make sure there is no outside interference – political or otherwise.”
Meanwhile, the junior New York senator who led the charge resulting in former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s resignation over sexual misconduct claims, said earlier this week that she refused to join the fray for Cuomo to resign.
“Asking every female elected in our state when a person should resign or not resign really isn’t the conversation we should be having,” Gillibrand told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “And I have to say, it’s exceedingly frustrating because so many men who are also in public leadership aren’t asked these questions day-to-day. The women in our state are not meant to be judges, jurors, and executioners.”