Governor Andrew Cuomo’s defiant conference call Friday afternoon in the wake of a chorus of resignation calls from lawmakers did nothing to stop Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand from also demanding that he step down from office.
In a joint statement released late Friday afternoon, Schumer — the Senate majority leader — and Gillibrand said the “multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations” had cost Cuomo “the confidence of his governing partners,” and makes his position in power no longer tenable.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” New York’s senators wrote. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”
Schumer and Gillibrand joined an ever-growing group of lawmakers across New York, from both sides of the aisle, in calling for Cuomo to resign from office amid the numerous sexual harassment allegations levied against him, and his administration’s handling of COVID-19 nursing home death data. As of Friday evening, most of New York City’s Congressional delegation and Mayor Bill de Blasio had public called for the governor to step down.
On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to launch an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo — potentially pitting the Democratic-led legislature against a Democratic governor.
Earlier on Friday, Cuomo dismissed the calls to resign as a matter of political “cancel culture,” saying, “Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous.” He didn’t mention any names, but a large number of elected officials who’ve called for Cuomo’s resignation are, like Cuomo, Democrats.
Cuomo also held fast to his belief that the investigations into the allegations proceed before any further action is taken.
“Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons, including political expediency and bowing to pressure,” Cuomo said during his March 12 conference call. “But people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth. People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth. Let the review proceed, I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”