State Attorney General Letitia James released Wednesday a trove of previously undisclosed evidence from her office’s sexual harassment investigation into disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The AG published thousands of pages of documents, including transcripts from interviews with the ex-Governor and the women who alleged sexual misconduct against him, along with text and email exchanges.
James’ office first released the bombshell report after five-month investigation into the claims against the Governor by current and former staffers on Aug. 3, with the investigation led by outside lawyers Joon Kim and Anne Clark. That led to Cuomo resigning on Aug. 24.
But the attorney general’s office retained the documents to allow several local district attorneys to look through them in case they wanted to file charges against Cuomo.
That changed on Oct. 28, when the Albany County Sheriff’s office filed a complaint accusing Cuomo of groping his former aide Brittany Commisso inside the Governor’s Mansion late last year.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares office informed AG James’s team on the same day that they would start handing over the evidence to Cuomo’s legal team to comply with state discovery laws, prompting the attorney general to start releasing them to the public “on a rolling basis.”
Sheriff Craig Apple’s office filed the misdemeanor forcible touching charge without telling DA Soares or the victim’s lawyer beforehand.
The surprise move also came a day ahead of James officially announcing her run for governor in the 2022 Democratic primary against Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is running for a full term.
Cuomo attorney Rita Glavin at the time accused Sheriff Apple, a Democrat, of having political motives for pushing out the complaint.
A local judge last week approved Soares’s request to postpone Cuomo’s first court appearance from Nov. 17 to Jan. 7.
In a statement Wednesday evening, longtime Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi denounced the James investigation as a “fraud” and politically motivated.
“Finally – after three months for stalling – Tish James has been forced to release transcripts as more and more people are questioning her shoddy and politically motivated report,” said Azzopardi. “However, these transcripts include questionable redactions and raise even more questions about key omissions made during this slanted process which reeks of prosecutorial misconduct.”
“The more we know about this investigation the more we know what a fraud it was,” the rep added.