President Biden on Tuesday called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign after an investigation from the state’s attorney general determined Cuomo committed sexual harassment.
“I think he should resign,” Biden said.
The president did not speak to a potential impeachment trial should Cuomo refuse to resign.
“Let’s take one thing at a time here,” Biden said. “I think he should resign. I understand the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact. … I have not read the report, I don’t know the detail of it. All I know is the end result.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said after Biden’s comments that the legislature “will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.”
“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,” Heastie added.
Biden in March declined to call for Cuomo’s resignation when many other politicians did, including New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” Biden said then.
Now, Biden joins numerous federal, state and local politicians who are again calling on Cuomo to resign or possibly face impeachment proceedings. Cuomo, however, gave no indication he would step down in a defiant 14-minute video he released in response to the AG’s report, during which he denied touching anyone inappropriately.
AG Letitia James revealed that state investigators spoke with 179 people while preparing their report and reviewed more than 74,000 documents, including texts, pictures, audio files and emails.
People interviewed included complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, State troopers, additional state employees and others who interacted regularly with the governor.
“These interviews and pieces of evidence revealed a deeply disturbing yet clear picture: Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of federal and state laws,” James said at a press conference on Tuesday.
On at least one occasion, the investigation found, Cuomo and his senior staff worked to retaliate against a former employee who accused him of wrongdoing. Cuomo was also found to have harassed women outside of government, the investigation found.
Cuomo has always denied touching anyone inappropriately, but he initially said he was sorry if his behavior with women was “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.” In recent months, he’s taken a more combative tack, saying he did nothing wrong and questioning the motives of accusers and critics.
He has also questioned the neutrality of the lawyers hired by the attorney general to investigate the allegations. Kim, was involved in previous investigations of corruption by people in Cuomo’s administration when he was a federal prosecutor in Manhattan. Cuomo hasn’t expressly said why he believes that would make Kim biased.