New York’s scandal-ridden Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned, caving to the pressure after a bombshell report accused him of sexually harassing 11 women.
In two weeks, Cuomo will leave office turning over the reins to the state’s Lieutenant Governor.
Cuomo made the announcement Tuesday, one week after the shattering report from the Attorney General – allegations that Cuomo denied even while he was resigning over them.
Cuomo said the State Assembly outlined an expensive and time-consuming impeachment process involving weeks of hearings and investigations and months of litigation costing the state time and money he says it can’t afford to spend. So, he said even though his first inclination was to fight, he ultimately chose to resign and end the distraction.
“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Cuomo said. “And therefore, that’s what I’ll do.”
And with that, the embattled Democrat leader resigned. At the same time, Cuomo called the report unfair and untruthful. “This is about politics,” he contended.
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The governor also offered apologies while not admitting to the allegations for which he was apologizing. He claimed that while trying to be friendly, he inadvertently acted in a way that was too familiar.
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone,” Cuomo said. “This is not to say that there are not 11 women who I truly offended. There are. And for that I deeply, deeply apologize. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate and I should have. No excuses.”
Cuomo made the public announcement of his resignation moments after his attorney spoke out in an attempt to poke holes in the AG’s report.
“The investigators acted as the prosecutors, the judge, and the jury of Governor Cuomo,” said Attorney Rita Glavin.
Reaction to Cuomo’s announcement was swift, even coming from President Biden himself who was among the chorus of leaders calling for the governor to resign.
“I respect the governor’s decision and I respect the decision he made,” Biden said. “He’s done a hell of a job. I mean both on everything from access to voting to infrastructure, the whole range of things, that’s why it’s so sad.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a tweet: “Today, closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice.”
One of the Governor’s first accusers, Lindsey Boylan, tweeted: “I am thankful for the Attorney General, the investigators and all those who have pursued the truth despite intimidation and threats of retaliation. There is absolutely no joy in any of this. It’s a tragedy. Just a massive, heartbreaking tragedy for so many.
Cuomo ended his remarks with personal words to his own daughters. “I want them to know from the bottom of my heart that I never did and never would intentionally disrespect a woman or treat any woman differently than I would want them to be treated,” he said.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will become the first female governor in New York State history. She released a statement saying she agrees with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. She added that it’s the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.