Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he agrees with President Joe Biden’s remarks in a recent interview that Cuomo should not leave office only if the investigations into his conduct reflect poorly, but he should also be prosecuted if there’s evidence that he committed a crime.
Refraining from answering questions in relation to the Assembly’s impeachment probe into sexual harassment allegations, Cuomo simply stated: “If you’ve committed a crime, you can be prosecuted.”
Nonetheless, the embattled governor contested President Biden’s verbatim remarks in an ABC interview that he would only consider resignation once Attorney General Letitia James finished her investigation, thus establishing “Facts” in the matter.
“The question to President Biden starts with ‘Do you think the governor should resign or do you think there should be a review first,’ and the President said there should be a review. I agree with him on that, the people of New York agree with him on that, people of New York and… The Siena poll said, 50 to 35% or something like that, that I shouldn’t have to resign, and 35% said I should resign… There’s always been 35% against me, just on the normal political spectrum.”
Despite the promising numbers in the poll, Albany lawmakers have taken a firm stance against Cuomo regarding the allegations from seven women, most being former and current staffers.
Fifty-nine legislators signed on to a letter calling for his resignation while Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has called the ongoing scandals a distraction from the business of government.
Wednesday morning, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine announced that the Assembly had retained the law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, in conducting the impeachment inquiry agreed upon by the house last week.
“Since Thursday, Chairman Lavine led a vigorous search for a top-flight firm to assist with the investigation. I have the utmost faith that Assemblymember Lavine and our Judiciary Committee will conduct a full and fair investigation,” Heastie said. “Hiring Davis Polk will give the Committee the experience, independence and resources needed to handle this important investigation in a thorough and expeditious manner.”
Cuomo has edged the press out of the equation since the allegations came out against him, all but ending his daily press conferences that had become a national staple since the pandemic began, and the public appearances he does make have been closed press.
When asked why his office leaked internal documents on Lindsey Boylan, a former high-level aide and the first accuser who is also running for Manhattan borough president, that claimed she had been accused of racism within the executive chamber, Cuomo did not directly address the question.