Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a flood of fresh calls for his resignation or impeachment Tuesday following the release of a damning attorney general’s report that found he sexually abused multiple women under his job.
An investigation led by state Attorney General Tish James found that Cuomo sexually abused 11 women, including an executive assistant whose breasts and buttocks he groped and a state police officer he inappropriately touched. The report concluded the governor violated state and federal laws.
After its release, many people who months ago said they would hold judgment until the report was released, joined those calling for Cuomo’s ouster since the allegations first surfaced.
Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Greg Meeks and Tom Suozzi – among several members of the New York congressional delegation who had not previously asked Cuomo to resign – said he should step down.
“The Attorney General’s Office Tish James is conducting a complete, thorough and professional investigation into the disturbing allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo. Investigations have found that the Governor engaged in abusive behavior towards women, including subordinates, created a hostile work environment and violated state and federal laws,” the three Democratic Congressmen said in a joint statement.
“We applaud the brave women who came forward and spoke the truth to power. The time has come for Governor Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and step down,” they said.
Another former ally, former Board Chair Christine Quinn joined calls for Cuomo to step down, saying, “I am deeply saddened and disgusted by the findings.”
Environment commissioner Cuomo himself tweeted on Tuesday that the governor’s actions were unacceptable, though he stopped short of calling for him to resign.
“All of this behavior is outrageous and unacceptable and inappropriate for a public official — or anyone else,” Basil Seggos said. “I am amazed at the strength of these women. Enough.”
Even Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul — who would take over as governor should Cuomo be removed before his term ends — criticized the governor’s behavior.
“The Attorney General’s investigations have documented the Governor’s disgusting and unlawful behavior towards many women. I trust these brave women and admire their courage to come forward. No one is above the law,” he said in a statement. “Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps.”
He declined to comment further on the Assembly’s “current” impeachment process, citing his position as first in the line of succession.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who previously called for Cuomo to step down, on Tuesday endorsed the governor’s outright impeachment. A dozen members of Congress said the same if Cuomo had not resigned.
“It is very clear that Andrew Cuomo is unfit to serve and can no longer serve as Governor. He should resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigator who is doing his job, he should be impeached immediately,” de Blasio said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, likely the next New York mayor to appear alongside Cuomo at a joint news conference last month, also called for Cuomo to be impeached — something he had suspended until Tuesday.
“Prosecutor General James conducted a thorough and revealing investigation that resulted in disturbing conclusions about Governor Cuomo’s conduct,” Adams said in a statement. “It is now the job of the New York State Assembly to take swift and appropriate action and move forward with the impeachment process if the Governor is not going to resign.”
The report drew many longtime critics to renew their calls for Cuomo to be removed from office if he was unwilling to leave.
“The Attorney General’s detailed and thorough report supports many disturbing examples of serious misconduct. Andrew Cuomo sexually assaulted and sexually assaulted, and intimidated a whistleblower. That’s a disqualification,” de Blasio said.
Cuomo disputed much of the report’s findings, saying he had never touched anyone inappropriately and specifically refuting an aide’s accusation that he groped under his shirt at the exec’s house.