New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually molested at least 11 women and then retaliated a former employee who publicly complained about his behavior, according to a bombshell report released Tuesday by Attorney General Letitia James.
The month-long investigation concluded that Cuomo “sexually molested several women in violation of federal and state laws,” James said at a press conference. However, her office found that there were no specific penalties associated with the report.
The 165-page report, which includes interviews with 179 witnesses and a review of tens of thousands of documents, also stated that Cuomo’s office was steeped in fear and intimidation and was a hostile work environment for many employees.
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Cuomo harassed his own employees, members of the public, and other government employees, one of whom was a state trooper, the report said. According to the report, he did not consensually touch, touch, kiss, and hug, and made inappropriate comments to numerous women.
The results show “a deeply troubling but clear picture,” said James, describing Cuomo’s office as a “toxic workplace”.
Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on the attorney general’s report.
The announcement came about two weeks after Cuomo was interviewed by investigators hired by James’ office to investigate. Cuomo was reportedly interviewed for 11 hours.
Mariann Wang, an attorney for the two alleged victims, Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, said in a statement, “Cuomo’s misogyny and abuse cannot be denied.”
“He’s been doing this for years without any consequences. He shouldn’t be responsible for our government and shouldn’t have any position of power over anyone else,” said Wang’s statement.
The investigation into numerous allegations of sexual harassment by Cuomo began in March after the State Executive Chamber granted James’ inquiries.
Later that month, dozens of the state’s Democratic lawmakers – including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, with whom Cuomo has long had a strained relationship – called on the governor to resign.
New York Congregation spokesman Carl Heastie, also a Democrat, authorized a panel in mid-March to open an impeachment investigation into allegations of harassment and other allegations of wrongdoing by Cuomo, including whether his staff tried to gather data on coronavirus deaths in New to hide or change York nursing homes.
Cuomo has defended himself against all allegations, repeatedly rejecting requests to resign, despite apologizing for making some women feel uncomfortable.
“I never molested anyone, I never attacked anyone, I never abused anyone,” Cuomo said in March. “I will not resign.”
President Joe Biden had previously said that Cuomo should resign if the investigation confirms allegations against him. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cuomo still had the support of several New York business leaders in publishing the report. His re-election campaign raised over $ 2 million on executive backs, including large donations from property manager Stephen Ross and Laurance Rockefeller Jr., a member of the ultra-rich Rockefeller family.
It is unclear whether these leaders will continue to support him.
Cuomo has previously indicated that the investigation was not conducted independently, and his staff have determined that James could be a potential future New York gubernatorial candidate.
James from the press secretary said she was offended by efforts to undermine and discredit the investigation.
“I believe women. And I believe all of these 11 women,” said James.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James listens to independent investigators Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark (not pictured) during a press conference on an investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in August in New York York has molested several women on 3, 2021.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
The report reveals that Cuomo’s younger brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, was interviewed by investigators.
“During his testimony, Chris Cuomo stated that there had been discussions about remedial action [Executive] Chamber should consider allegations of sexual harassment, but some people had taken the position that they should just wait, ”the report said.
The report also states: “According to internal documents and communications received during the investigation, the governor’s advisors, including Mr Pollock and Chris Cuomo, appear to have advised him to express remorse after the press reported Ms’s allegations Bennett had published. “
The document also describes calls to New York Covid-19 vaccine tsar’s Democratic district chief Larry Schwartz to assess whether they think the governor should step down. The calls were made at the request of top Cuomo advisor Melissa DeRosa, according to the report.
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– CNBC’s Brian Schwartz and Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.