Gov. Cuomo, who asked Tish James to investigate the claims of the women who say he harassed and touched them, while his inner circle tried to bully them into silence, still thinks he can talk his way out of this now that New York’s attorney general has found their accounts credible and his ridiculous in a damning 165-page report.
And why not? From the Moreland Commission to the conviction of Cuomo family friend and political enforcer Joe Percoco to New York’s worst-in-the-nation virus death toll last year, he’s blustered and stalled his way out of trouble before.
But now a governor who’s always been feared, never loved, is running out of excuses and allies. Two years after he declared “I am the left,” Democrats from President Biden to his own hand-picked state party chair say he’s got to go.
The cynical founder of the Women’s Equality Party has been exposed as a boss who roped women he found attractive into his office and orbit (and the most serious allegations come from women who were on the state payroll) and then came onto them whether they liked it or not, and many did not.
He released a pathetic video in response to James’ report, so he wouldn’t have to answer questions as he looked directly into the camera while insisting he’s a hugger, not a groper, who only pressed women about their sex lives because he cares about them as human beings even as he keeps suggesting his investigators and accusers are motivated by politics.
Who do you think is more motivated by politics, young women in low-level government positions or the three-term governor who literally grew up in the governor’s mansion and presently has no other home?
With 63% of New Yorkers including a plurality of Democrats saying he should resign, Cuomo is down to his final threat: You want me out? Push me out.
I suspect lawmakers will, not because they are so brave and honest but because it’s finally clear that this emperor has no clothes, not even black socks.
After slow-walking impeachment before James’ report dropped, the Assembly is giving Cuomo until the end of this coming week to submit evidence in his defense.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Cuomo’s lawyers complained, fairly, that they hadn’t seen James’ report before it was published and still haven’t seen the transcripts of the 179 interviews the AG conducted while they tried, sometimes unfairly, to punch holes into the accounts of two of his 11 accusers.
Just like when Cuomo requested the investigation his lawyers now say had a “predetermined narrative,” he’s playing for time. The game is to demand a fair hearing, and then insist any outcome that doesn’t favor him is rigged. Sound familiar?
Cuomo and his mouthpieces have had little to say so far about the one new accuser in the AG’s report, a state trooper who the governor briefly met while she was working and immediately decided to add to his protective detail, despite her not having enough time on the job to qualify for that role. When she arrived, she testified he kept hitting on her and touching her inappropriately.
The day after Cuomo signed a sweeping new law he proclaimed would finally end “an ongoing, persistent culture of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination in the workplace,” he asked the trooper why she wasn’t wearing a dress as she drove him to an event. Her commander texted her to keep that quiet: “stays in the truck.”
This is a governor who talks about respecting women in the workplace while he’s pestering women who work for him for sex, pushing many of them away from jobs they otherwise loved.
It turns out that Cuomosexuality is a coerced courtship through exhaustion that’s of a piece with his approach to governing, as anyone who’s spent an hour or many being jawboned by him can vouch.
Meantime, at least five district attorneys are following up on the AG’s report and a criminal complaint was filed on Friday by the assistant who says he put his hand under her blouse while she was working at the executive mansion, which he’s denied. Civil complaints from other accusers are looming, and separate probes into Cuomo’s $5 million virus book and the nursing-home numbers New York reported to the Trump administration are ongoing.
In his grasping video, the alleged groper looked back fondly on his Emmy-winning 2020, when the virus killed at least 38,000 New Yorkers but his ratings were through the roof in Cuomo’s version of Rudy Giuliani’s “a noun, a verb and 9/11” appeal.
“Let’s honor all the women who have suffered this pain and endured this humiliation (and) had the courage to come forward,” Cuomo had said a year earlier when he signed the harassment law he continually violated. “And let’s actually change things.”
That starts with lawmakers calling his bluff and pushing him out if he won’t walk away. Enough with “indispensable” men talking about how I alone can fix it.
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