U.S. President Joe Biden has called on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after the results of an independent investigation into his harassment of several women were made public.
“I think he should resign. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach him. I don’t know that fact. I haven’t read all that data,” Biden told reporters at a White House briefing.
The attorney general’s investigation was launched last year after several women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against the governor. Over the course of five months, investigators spoke with nearly 200 people, including state administration officials. Tens of thousands of documents, texts and images were reviewed as part of the investigation.
For example, the women recounted how the governor “groped them, kissed them, and put them on his lap.” In particular, an assistant to the head of state accused Koumo of getting under her blouse and grabbing her breasts.
A total of 11 women, nine of whom are still in public office, have come forward with accusations against the 63-year-old state chief. Eight of them described abusive or sexual comments made by the governor. Seven women said the governor inappropriately touched or groped them at least once. Another four claimed he kissed them without consent.
In addition to harassment, Cuomo is accused of running a “hostile and toxic work environment.”
In announcing the results of the investigation, New York Attorney General Letitia James stressed that the governor thereby violated state and federal laws.
Cuomo himself denies that he touched anyone inappropriately and has vowed to remain in office. The New York governor may now be impeached and face a separate criminal investigation as well.
It is worth noting that the investigation is civil, not criminal, so it will not directly lead to charges. But the police can use the report when deciding on further action.