Andrew Cuomo refuses to resign as accusations multiply

 

Andrew Cuomo refuses to resign as accusations multiply

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to defy growing calls to resign, saying that he would not yield to “cancel culture” even as the majority of his state’s congressional delegation and 60 state Democratic lawmakers said he should step down. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, asked the public to wait for the results of investigations into the allegations of sexual harassment against him. “I did not do what is alleged, period,” Cuomo said. Last week, the number of women leveling charges of impropriety at Cuomo rose to seven when Jessica Bakeman, a former statehouse reporter, accused Cuomo of improperly touching her. Cuomo now faces two separate investigations—one overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James and an impeachment investigation by the State Assembly. One accuser, Charlotte Bennett, 25, met with investigators for four hours, turned over 120 pages of records, and said Cuomo, 63, often talked about his “hand size and what the large size of his hands indicated,” her lawyer said.

Cuomo, already engulfed in a parallel scandal involving the underreporting of nursing home residents who died from Covid-19, also faces accusations that his “vaccine czar,” Larry Schwartz, phoned county officials to ensure their loyalty ahead of the placement of 10 mass vaccination sites. One Democratic county executive filed an ethics complaint and said he felt that Schwartz had tied support for Cuomo to vaccine distribution. “At best, it was inappropriate,” said the county official, who was not named. “At worst, it was clearly over the ethical line.”

Cuomo does deserve due process, said Karen Tumulty in The Washington Post, and the fact that he is getting it shows that “the #MeToo movement has evolved to the point where due process is possible for those accused of wrongdoing.” That’s a positive development. Cuomo is getting the independent inquiry these charges merit. But if Cuomo wants to maintain it will exonerate him, he and his staff should stop trying to pressure accusers and state officials and “let the process work.”

New York’s Democrats now “have the best of both worlds,” said Noah Rothman in CommentaryMagazine.com. The harassment allegations against Cuomo give New York’s Democrats a way to “hold Cuomo accountable without indicting their party in the process.” The focus on Cuomo’s sexual improprieties instead of his Covid-related failings lets them divorce themselves from the “imperious governor” without tarnishing the myth that Democrats have capably handled the pandemic.

Conservatives now “dunking” on Cuomo and the Democrats have no shame, said Tim Miller in TheBulwark.com. Most New York Democrats are now calling on Cuomo to resign, whereas when more than 20 women made allegations of harassment, assault, and even rape against Trump, Republicans hid behind craven “excuse making” and didn’t even call for investigations. In “a properly functioning democratic republic,” parties do not tolerate one of their own abusing women. “The GOP should take note.”

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