New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing increasing pressure to resign following allegations of sexual harassment as a growing list of his Democratic colleagues turn on him including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Mr Cuomo has denied any allegations of wrongdoing and rejected calls to resign, saying demands for him to step down without “a single fact” are “reckless and dangerous.”
On Saturday, Mr Cuomo jumped onto Twitter to give an update on New York’s coronavirus crisis, as usual, providing figures for the total of hospitalisations and deaths in the state despite the ongoing controversy surrounding his leadership.
Mr Cuomo is facing allegations that he sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward seven women, including several former staffers in his administration, someone he met purely socially, and a journalist.
A senior advisor to the governor has denied reports claiming that staffers are abandoning Mr Cuomo amid the allegations, saying the claims are “greatly exaggerated.”
Leaders in the state assembly have announced an impeachment investigation against the governor as a first step toward potentially removing him from office, while state attorney general Letitia James announced an investigation into the harassment allegations.
Mr Cuomo has reiterated his denial of the allegations, asking New Yorkers to “wait for the facts” before coming to a judgement on the issue, saying: “There is still a question of the truth. I did not do what has been alleged. Period.”
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of Andrew Cuomo as the New York governor faces calls for resignation and an impeachment push amid multiple scandals.
Chuck Schumer joins top Democrats calling for NY governor to resign
The nation’s top congressional Democrat joined a growing caucus of New York lawmakers demanding for Andrew Cuomo to resign saying in a statement that the governor “has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined a New York congressional delegation demanding his resignation.
By the end of Friday, the governor – now largely alone in his battle – insisted his colleagues are engaging in “reckless” behaviour with premature demands. He has denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
Their statement followed a wave of calls on Friday from more than a dozen House Democrats from New York, including US Reps Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Alex Woodward reports:
Andrew Cuomo remains defiant against mounting pressure to step down from office as governor faces storm of abuse allegations
Cuomo staffers abandon work as tensions mount, report says
Disillusioned staffers are abandoning their posts as Andrew Cuomo remains embroiled in scandals surrounding allegations of sexual harassment and assault, according to a report by The New York Post.
“I hear that most people aren’t even coming into work, and the offices at the Capitol are empty,” one well-placed insider in touch with staffers in recent days reportedly told the outlet.
“He’ll fight and fight and fight, but the staffers I’ve talked to are ready for him to hang up the gloves. Everyone feels like there is an inevitable conclusion — I mean at some point will Biden call on him to step down? They [staffers] just want this torture to stop.”
The Independent has reached out to the governor for comment.
Cuomo gives update on state’s Covid situation as usual despite calls for resignation
Andrew Cuomo has jumped onto Twitter to give an update on New York’s coronavirus crisis, providing figures for the total of hospitalisations and deaths in the state despite the ongoing controversy surrounding his leadership.
The update comes as usual despite ongoing calls for the governor’s resignation amid a number of scandals. Mr Cuomo on Friday insisted that he would not step down and condemned colleagues demanding his resignation as “reckless and dangerous.”
“Today’s update on the numbers: Total Covid hospitalisations are at 4,617. Of the 225,793 tests reported yesterday, 6,600 were positive (2.92 per cent of total). Sadly, there were 77 fatalities,” he posted on Saturday morning.
Blanket-wrapped Cuomo sparks social media flurry amid calls to resign
Mr Cuomo was photographed on the grounds of the governor’s mansion with a blanket wrapped over his shoulders while speaking intently on the phone on Friday.
The photo quickly sparked a torrent of jokes on Twitter, with a number of users sharing memes and jokes directed at the image with one calling it “bleak” while another parodied the item as“spring’s hottest fashion” accessory.
Louise Hall reports:
One user describes photograph of governor outside executive mansion as ‘bleak’
Andrew Cuomo: From leader to liability
Just a few months ago, Andrew Cuomo’s assured handling of the Covid crisis saw him touted as a serious candidate for the highest office.
Now, though, accusations of sexual harassment and the concealment of nursing home deaths leave the New York governor fighting for his political career. Sean O’Grady considers where it all went wrong:
Just a few months ago, Andrew Cuomo’s assured handling of the Covid crisis saw him touted as a serious candidate for the highest office. Now, though, accusations of sexual harassment and the concealment of nursing home deaths leave the New York governor fighting for his political career. Sean O’Grady considers where it all went wrong
Former White House press secretary calls for Cuomo to take lie detector test
Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary for President George W Bush, has said that Andrew Cuomo should be “asked if he’s willing to take a lie detector test” at his next news conference.
In a post on Twitter, the former press secretary cited a previous statement from Mr Cuomo in which he asked Brett Kavanaugh to take a polygraph in 2018.
“Cuomo deserves a taste of his own medicine,” Mr Fleischer wrote on Saturday.
Seventh woman accuses Cuomo of harassment alleging he ‘put his hands on her waist’
A seventh accuser has come forward against Andrew Cuomo, alleging that he “put his hands on her waist” and harassed her several times since the start of her journalism career.
Jessica Bakeman, a former member of the Capitol press corps in Albany who worked forPolitico, became the most recent accuser of the New York governor on 12 March.
In a first-person article for New York Magazine, Ms Bakeman wrote an account of a 2014 event in which the New York governor allegedly put his hands on her waist, arms around her back, and never let go of her hand as they posed for photos.
The governor reiterated his denial of all allegations against him following the new accusations, saying on a call with reporters: “I did not do what has been alleged. Period.”
He added: “My statement could not be clearer, I think. I never harassed anyone, I never assaulted anyone, I never abused anyone.”
Mr Cuomo had already been facing allegations that he sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward six women, including several former staffers in his administration and someone he met purely socially.
The Democratic governor has said previously he “never touched anyone inappropriately” and “never made any inappropriate advances” and that “no one ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable.”
Who is Letitia James? New York’s first black AG investigating Cuomo allegations
The governor has asked people to wait for “the facts” before forming an opinion on the issue as the investigation, which will be headed by a former federal prosecutor and an employment lawyer, unfolds. He has denied any allegations of wrongdoing,
Who is Letitia James, the attorney general poised to lead the investigation?
The long-term political operative has a history of working within both the criminal justice system and Democrat establishment
Governor’s aide denies reports of staff abandoning posts insisting claims are ‘greatly exaggerated’
A senior adviser to the governor has denied reports claiming that staffers are abandoning Andrew Cuomo amid allegations of sexual harassment, saying the claims are “greatly exaggerated.”
The New York Post reported on Saturday that disillusioned staffers have stopped turning up to work amid the controversy surrounding Mr Cuomo and increasing calls for his resignation.
However, in a statement to The Independent, Richard Azzopardi, a senior advisor to the governor, refuted this.
“There’s a budget to be done in two weeks, the largest vaccination effort is state history to stand up and the continued efforts to successfully fight this once in a century pandemic and that’s what the hard-working members of this administration and the state workforce are focused on -- period,” he said.
The governor has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
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