The president of the United States, Joe Biden, asked this Tuesday the resignation of the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.
It was after an independent investigation concluded that the Democratic politician he sexually harassed several women.
“I think I should quit”, Biden said during a press conference at the White House.
The US president had so far avoided calling for Cuomo’s resignation despite the multiple accusations against him for sexual harassment, but the report published Tuesday by the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, made him change his mind.
However, Biden did not want to comment on whether Cuomo should face impeachment if he refuses to resign, although he assured that this is “a possibility” that the governor risks.
The head of the White House assured that he had not read the report of the New York prosecutor and did not know the “details”, only its conclusions, and recalled that in March he already said that, if the investigation of James concluded that Cuomo was responsible for harassment , he would ask for your resignation.
Earlier, Cuomo had denied the complaints sexual harassment, including of some female employees. He was also accused of instituting a culture of fear within his administration.
When the result of the Cuomo investigation was released, the White House had labeled “aberrant” acts of sexual harassment allegedly committed by the governor.
“I don’t think anyone could have seen (the New York Attorney General’s announcement) this morning and not considered the accusations aberrant. At least they seemed so to me,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in your daily press conference.
However, the spokeswoman avoided answering multiple questions about whether Biden believed that Cuomo should resign, and asked to wait for the president’s press conference, which was held at 4:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. in Argentina).
More than 170 interviews and 74,000 tests
The attorney general of New York, Letitia James, presented this Tuesday the result of five months of research on various allegations of harassment against Cuomo, after interviewing 179 people and obtaining 74,000 pieces of evidence, including documents, emails, messages and photos.
James noted that the governor violated “state and federal laws” by “sexually harassing multiple women, many of them young, with Inappropriate touching, kissing, hugging, and comments that were unwanted“, between 2013 and 2020.
The 169-page report features eleven complainants whose allegations are described in great detail, nine of them former or former state employees, and “all of them found the governor’s behavior disturbing, humiliating, uncomfortable and inappropriate”, whether in an encounter or repeatedly.
Andrew Cuomo defends himself
Cuomo emphatically denied the accusations against him on Tuesday, insisting that “the facts are very different from what has been portrayed.”
“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched any woman inappropriately or made sexual advances,” the governor said in a television message just two hours after the report’s results were released.
The investigation unleashed a wave of calls for Cuomo’s resignation, among them that of the Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, and the other senator who represents New York with him in the Upper House, Kirsten Gillibrand.
Also the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, called for Cuomo’s resignation.
Source: AFP and EFE