Calls for NY Gov. Cuomo to Resign Come From Capitol Hill
More than a dozen congressional Democrats from New York, including both senators, put out statements in what appeared to be a coordinated release Friday morning, calling on the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, to resign.
This marks the first time that multiple Democratic lawmakers at the Congressional level have called for Cuomo to step down. Rep. Kathleen Rice had previously demanded
the governor resign.
In recent days, Cuomo, himself a Democrat, has faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct spanning the decade he has served as the top executive of New York. He has repeatedly denied the allegations, most recently to reporters on Tuesday in Albany.
The most recent allegation on Tuesday, originally published by the Albany Times Union
, sparked a new wave of calls for Cuomo to leave the governor’s office. Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by six women including a current aide.
“This is very simple: I never touched anyone inappropriately. As I said last week, I never made any inappropriate advances (and) as I said last week, no one ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said.
After remaining relatively quiet about the allegations, other than calling for an independent investigation, 12 Democrats spoke out Friday. A series of statements from lawmakers including Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler and House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney called on Cuomo to resign.
“The repeated accusations against the Governor, and the manner in which he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point,” Nadler’s statement read.
Maloney echoed his calls in her own statement: “We have come a long way, but now is the time to finally ensure that this generation’s courage stops harassment once and for all.”
Still, others focused on the experience of the women who have alleged misconduct by Cuomo. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jamaal Bowman released a joint statement.
“[W]e believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges,” they stated.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez’s statement was short and to the point.
“As public servants, we must earn the trust and respect of those we represent. There is only one way the governor can truly restore accountability and confidence to his office: he must resign,” she said.
Reps. Delgado, Meng, Clarke, Espaillat, Jones, Higgans, and Sean Patrick Maloney all concurred in their individual statements. As of press time, only Reps. Meeks, Torres, Jeffries, Tonko, Morelle, and Suozzi had not commented Friday morning.
This marks 13 total Congressional Democrats who called on Cuomo to resign. Together, they are more than half of the Democratic members of the House of Representatives representing New York. Neither of New York’s Senators has called for Cuomo’s resignation.
Late on Friday, both Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand put out a joint statement
also pressing the governor to leave office.
"Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct. Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign."
“I did not do what has been alleged. Period,” he said while asking for current investigations to proceed. “Wait for the facts.”
He also appeared to add a remark for the congressional delegation, stating, “Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are, in my opinion, reckless and dangerous.”
Benjamin Deeter and Mike Nam contributed to this report.
Updated on March 12, 2021, at 5:53 pm ET with response from Cuomo.