Embattled New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo might be in criminal jeopardy as more allegations of sexual misconduct surface to fuel growing calls from members of the state legislature in his own party for impeachment.
On Tuesday, a sixth accuser came forward with charges that the governor “aggressively groped her in a sexually charged manner” on the second floor of his New York mansion, first reported in the New Albany Times Union. The local paper did not unveil her name but disclosed she was one of the governor’s aides.
“They were alone in Cuomo’s private residence on the second floor when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her,” the Times Union reported, citing a source familiar with the unidentified woman’s claims.
On Thursday, officials with the Albany Police Department told the New York Times the state governor may now be facing criminal charges based on the latest accusation, the most intrusive to date. While Albany Police spokesman Steve Smith fell short of declaring an open criminal investigation into the governor, the alleged conduct may have risen “to the level of a crime.”
Five other women have previously made claims that Cuomo made failed passes at them, adding to the governor’s political headwinds provoked by exposés in recent weeks on his office manipulating nursing home data.
Last week, the Times found Cuomo publicly underestimated the New York nursing home coronavirus death toll by nearly 3,000 as the governor pursued a book tour on pandemic leadership.
Cuomo has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, but apologized to women for behavior where he “made people feel uncomfortable” and has defended his actions early on in the pandemic, claiming adversaries were operating in a “toxic political environment.”
A federal inquiry is now underway into the governor’s management of nursing homes, which prompted Cuomo’s book publisher to halt the promotion of his pandemic manifesto.
New York lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have now demanded the governor’s resignation, with members of the state legislature opening an impeachment inquiry. The New York attorney general’s office is conducting its own, independent investigation.
On Thursday, 55 percent of state lawmakers, including 59 Democrats, sent a letter to the governor demanding he resign.
“In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths,” the letter read, “he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need.”
Prominent Democratic members of the state congressional delegation have added their names to the growing list of those demanding Cuomo step down.
BREAKING: House Judiciary Cmte. Chairman Nadler, Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman, Velazquez, Meng, Espaillat, Maloney call on NY Gov. Cuomo to resign. pic.twitter.com/R0x00cFFob
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 12, 2021
While Cuomo’s scandals continue to grow, completing a 12-month arc from liberal lockdown hero to embattled emperor in the fight for his political life, legacy networks that promoted his pandemic rise are now avoiding coverage of new charges against him.
According to Fox News on Friday, CNN, which Cuomo frequented on his brother’s prime time program, went a full 48 hours without mentioning Tuesday’s blockbuster reporting from the Albany Times Union revealing the governor’s sixth accuser’s story.
NEW: As CNN anchors address the “latest” Cuomo drama, they’ve been inexplicably avoiding the sixth accuser’s groping claim.
A reporter even goes out of her way to mention the “five women” who have “publicly” accused the governor of sexual misconduct.https://t.co/JpHBJEq2qM
— Joseph A. Wulfsohn (@JosephWulfsohn) March 12, 2021