President Biden called on Gov. Cuomo to resign Tuesday over allegations that he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, dealing a major blow to the embattled governor who’s insisting he’s not going anywhere despite a state attorney general probe corroborating the accusations against him.
Biden, who has been close with Cuomo and his family for decades, said at the White House that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ 165-page investigative report left him confident that the governor must get out of office.
“I think he should resign,” Biden said, adding that he understands state legislators in Albany are likely to impeach Cuomo if he doesn’t leave on his own accord.
At the same time, Biden said he had not digested the full extent of James’ report, which concluded that Cuomo violated “state and federal laws” by inappropriately touching or otherwise harassing 11 women, many of whom are former or current staffers.
“I’m sure there are some embraces that are totally innocent, but apparently the attorney general decided there were things that weren’t,” Biden said.
He added, “I have not read the report. I don’t know the detail of it. All I know is the end result.”
Biden’s thumb on the scale is significant not just because he’s the most senior Democrat in the country, but also because he refrained from demanding Cuomo’s resignation after the sexual harassment allegations first surfaced in March.
Cuomo, who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, did not return a request for comment via a spokesman after Biden’s remarks. The governor has maintained for months that he won’t resign under any circumstance.
Dozens of other prominent Democrats, including all members of New York’s congressional delegation, have also called on Cuomo to step down in light of James’ report being released Tuesday.
If Cuomo doesn’t leave office, impeachment appears a near certainty.
Support for the kick-starting the rare removal process is widespread among both Democrats and Republicans in the state Legislature, and after Biden’s comments Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) announced he’s also onboard.
“It is abundantly clear to me that the governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office,” said Heastie, a longtime Cuomo ally who ultimately holds final say on whether Cuomo will face impeachment. “Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the attorney general, we will move expeditiously to conclude our impeachment investigation.”
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