House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined a chorus of public officials on Tuesday calling on fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo to resign as governor of New York after the state attorney general held a press conference on an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against him.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said the investigation found that Cuomo had groped, kissed or made suggestive comments to 11 women, creating a "toxic" workplace in violation of the law.
"Under Attorney General Letitia James, a comprehensive and independent investigation into the allegations against Governor Cuomo has been completed," Pelosi said in a written statement. "As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth. Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the Governor to resign."
Schumer, along with fellow New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, called on Cuomo to resign in March when the allegations were made. They reiterated that call in a joint statement on Tuesday.
"As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate and completely unacceptable," they said. "Today's report from the New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories — and we commend the women for doing so."
The senators noted that the investigation found that Cuomo had "a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees, retaliated against at least one of his accusers and created a hostile work environment."
Noting that "No elected official is above the law," Schumer and Gillibrand said they "continue to believe that the Governor should resign."
President Joe Biden, the highest elected Democrat and a longtime ally of the governor, was asked at a press conference whether Cuomo should resign and replied simply, "Yes."
"I think he should resign," Biden said.
The entire New York congressional delegation has also called for his resignation, including Rep. Elise Stefanik.
Still, Cuomo has defiantly denied the allegations, taking to the airwaves on Tuesday, saying he had never acted inappropriately and made clear he had no plans to resign.
The civil investigation will not directly lead to criminal charges against Cuomo, but the Albany County district attorney is conducting his own inquiry and requested any relevant material already gathered.
Cuomo, a third-term governor who has served in the post since 2011, called the findings inaccurate and unfair. He said his accusers had misinterpreted his words, gestures and demeanor, insisting his behavior was always intended to convey warmth to the women.
The findings of the inquiry, detailed in a scathing 168-page report, could deal a devastating blow to Cuomo — once seen as a possible presidential candidate — and hinder his administration.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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