The first woman to accuse New York governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment has blasted national leaders for not calling for his resignation, as President Joe Biden refused to do so in his first public comments about the claims.
Last month, Lindsey Boylan, a former staffer with the Cuomo administration, accused the governor of sexually harassing her on several occasions, with six other women later making detailed accusations against him.
Following the claims, New York State attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation, as several prominent politicians including Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called for his resignation.
On Friday, 16 of the 19 members of the Democrat’s House delegation also called for Mr Cuomo to resign, saying that the allegations impede his ability to effectively govern the state. The governor has refused to resign and has denied any wrongdoing.
However, despite calls to resign from prominent New York politicians, Mr Biden, his vice president Kamala Harris and House speaker Nancy Pelosi, are yet to call for Mr Cuomo’s resignation.
Seemingly referencing their silence in a tweet on Sunday, Ms Boylan wrote: “If you are a national leader asked to weigh in on @NYGovCuomo and you do not call for his resignation at this point, you do not care about women’s equality.”
On the same day, Mr Biden made his first comments on the claims, telling reporters on the White House South Lawn that “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us.”
Clarifying Mr Biden’s comments later in the day, White House chief of staff Ron Klein said: “What the President said is that there’s a process. These charges are very serious charges. They ought to be investigated and that process ought to run its course.”
However, Mr Biden has still not called for Mr Cuomo’s resignation, while Ms Harris has not publicly weighed in on the accusations.
Although Ms Pelosi said on Sunday that the women should be believed when asked about the claims, the house speaker added that she has “confidence in the attorney general of New York” and her investigation, but did not call for Mr Cuomo’s resignation.
Mr Cuomo defended himself in a press conference last week, saying that “there are often many motivations for making an allegation,” seemingly accusing the multiple women of having ulterior motives.
Ms Boylan previously criticised the White House in a separate tweet last week, saying that Mr Biden, Ms Harris and other prominent politicians were supporting speculation over the motives of the women with “their silence” on the claims.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke about the situation during a press conference on Friday, in the administration’s first comment on the accusations.
“The president believes that every woman who’s come forward — there have now been six, I believe, who have come forward — deserves to have her voice heard, should be treated with respect and should it be able to tell her story,” Ms Psaki said.
Alongside Ms James’ probe into the claims, Mr Cuomo is the subject of an impeachment investigation, following the speaker of the the New York State Assembly authorising a probe into his position last week.
Although the governor has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, he has repeatedly said that he “never touched anyone inappropriately,” but has apologised for “making anyone feel uncomfortable”.
The Independent has contacted the White House for comment.
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