Lawmakers on both sides call for Cuomo to resign
The calls for the governor to resign are echoing through the halls of the state Capitol tonight. The loudest ones are perhaps coming from Washington, including President Biden, who said “I think he should resign.”
Here are some of the statements from lawmakers in New York state and Washington.
Joint statement by governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island:
"We are appalled at the findings of the independent investigation by the New York Attorney General. Governor Cuomo should resign from office."
Rep. Elise Stefanik:
???? MY FULL STATEMENT CALLING FOR THE ARREST OF GOVERNOR CUOMO ???? pic.twitter.com/Xxl5ugsxTk— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 3, 2021
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul:
No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps.— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 3, 2021
Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment. 2/2
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins:
“This report highlights unacceptable behavior by Governor Cuomo and his administration. As I said, when these disturbing allegations first came to light, the Governor must resign for the good of the state. Now that the investigation is complete, and the allegations have been substantiated, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as Governor. Our highest elected offices must reflect the values and integrity that they profess and New Yorkers hold dear. I thank the Attorney General and her investigators for their thorough investigation. I also wanted to give a special thank you to the courageous women who bravely stepped forward to shed light on this awful situation. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston):
“Based on the report and findings by the Attorney General’s independent investigation into the several very serious allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, I believe that he should do the right thing on behalf of the people of the State of New York and step down immediately.
“As a member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the findings contained in this lengthy report will be discussed thoroughly at the next scheduled meeting on August 9 – if not sooner.”
Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville):
“This is truly a disappointing day for all New Yorkers but an important one to begin to provide some closure for all the women who were victims of this Governor’s actions. The New York State Attorney General’s disturbing report confirms what I’ve been saying for months, that Andrew Cuomo must be impeached and removed from office immediately. Enough is enough!”
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt:
“Today is a sad and sobering day for all New Yorkers. The Attorney General’s findings confirm and reinforce the allegations brought by the brave women who came forward against a powerful figure — that Andrew Cuomo is a serial harasser, unfit to hold public office. In the wake of another devastating report, now more than ever Andrew Cuomo must resign. If he fails to do so, the legislature must immediately reconvene to take action to remove him.
“New Yorkers have already been subjected to far too many lies, scandals and misdeeds perpetrated by this Governor and his associates. It is time to bring this sad, tawdry and corrupt chapter in New York’s history to a close, and to restore decency, honesty, and accountability to our state’s highest office. New York is facing profound challenges, ranging from a wave of violence in our streets, to a badly battered economy. To effectively address these challenges, we need a change in leadership as quickly as possible.
“I must also commend the Attorney General and her team for refusing to be intimidated by this Governor. From the very beginning, Andrew Cuomo and his associates attempted to bully, undercut, and undermine the Attorney General — all as part of an effort to prevent her from doing her job. From attempting to block the initial referral to the Attorney General’s office, to the intimidation of potential witnesses, to the blatant attempts to smear her integrity and motivations, this Governor left no stone unturned in his efforts to prevent the truth from being discovered.
“While this will undoubtedly go down as a dark day in New York’s history, we must now take steps to ensure that it will also be remembered as an important turning point that restores accountability and trustworthiness to state government.”
Senator John W. Mannion (D-Geddes):
“The Attorney General’s independent investigation has outlined in disturbing detail that Governor Andrew Cuomo engaged in a pattern of unlawful sexual harassment and his office has a culture of hostility and fear.
I believe the women who bravely came forward to tell their stories under incredibly difficult circumstances.
I am reiterating my position that Governor Cuomo must resign immediately for the good of the State of New York.”
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro:
“Attorney General James and the independent investigators have confirmed what we’ve known for years: Andrew Cuomo is a monster.
My heart breaks for the survivors.
The pervasive culture of fear and sexual abuse in this administration is well known and now publicly exposed. If not for the bravery of the eleven women who came forward, Andrew Cuomo’s reign of terror would have continued to be ignored and covered up. The grotesque violations outlined in this report are just the tip of the iceberg for an administration that routinely ignores the rule of law.
He was and is unfit to serve, must resign, and be brought to justice.”
Senator Peter Oberacker:
ALBANY – 08/03/21 – Senator Peter Oberacker (R/C-Schenevus) today responded to the report from independent investigators finding that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal laws.
“The governor must resign immediately and face criminal charges.
“The governor said wait for the independent investigation from the attorney general, we now have that report and it is sickening to read. The heinous acts committed by the governor are unconscionable – he clearly violated the public trust, and moreover he treated a number of women in a disgusting, unlawful manner. I commend those who courageously stood up to this predator and praise them for their bravery.
“Additionally, the governor’s behavior was covered up by others. The AG’s findings show high level staff members acted in concert with the governor and they too must be held accountable.
“We also cannot forget that additional investigations are moving forward, including a probe into needless nursing home deaths and the governor’s attempted coverup.
“Short of resignation, the State Assembly must stop dragging their feet and impeach the governor immediately.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin:
Zeldin: Cuomo Must Resign or be Impeached
NEW YORK – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), who has been named the presumptive nominee for Governor of New York by both the New York Republican and Conservative Parties, issued the following statement and demanded that Governor Andrew Cuomo resign or be impeached after New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a report which found that Governor Andrew Cuomo harassed, abused and retaliated against current and former employees:
“Andrew Cuomo must resign or be impeached. Cuomo institutionalized widespread abuse within his administration and tried to silence his many victims, which enabled him to continue openly preying on those around him. Over the last few months, Cuomo has continued his attempts to undermine the investigations into his wrongdoing and those carrying them out, and I have no doubt he will continue to do so following the release of the report.
“It’s up to all of us to hold him accountable. Governor Cuomo must resign, and if he doesn’t resign, Democrats running the State Legislature in Albany must impeach him. If they don’t impeach him, we must hold Governor Cuomo and every single person who has enabled him accountable at the ballot box on Election Day 2022. Whether it’s the deadly nursing home order and coverup, his absurd $5.1 million self-congratulatory book deal, or rampant sexual harassment, abuse, and intimidation, New York needs new leadership to restore our state to glory, rather than govern scandal to scandal. New Yorkers need a Governor who will put their priorities first, not prioritize self-preservation in the face of endless misconduct. This is a crisis of leadership, and it’s up to every New Yorker to hold Cuomo accountable and save our state.”
Senator Mike Martucci:
Middletown, NY – Statement from Senator Mike Martucci (R,C,I-Hudson Valley and Catskills) on the New York State Attorney General’s investigation report:
“The disturbing evidence of sexual harassment detailed by the Attorney General and her investigators at today’s press conference confirms what I already believed to be true – Andrew Cuomo is utterly unfit to continue to serve as Governor of our great State. If he has any shame he ought to resign immediately. If he refuses to do so, the State Assembly must finally do its job and impeach him. Make no mistake, the Governor’s conduct broke Federal and State laws. He even sexually harassed a State Trooper assigned to his protection detail. This is someone who would have taken a bullet to protect him. Members of the Legislature were elected to uphold the laws and Constitution of our State. Failure to remove Andrew Cuomo would be a dereliction of that duty and I don’t intend to shirk mine.
“I want to thank Attorney General James and special investigators Kim and Clark for their thorough and professional report. I also want to recognize the courage and bravery of the women who spoke out and brought this sordid mess to light. Justice demands that we honor their bravery by ensuring that justice is done on Governor Cuomo. Our state must finally turn the page on his corrosive and corrupt leadership. The time is now.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara:
“Today’s report from Attorney General Letitia James confirms that the Governor is a serial sexual harasser, assaulter and intimidator — the NYS legislature must impeach now. He has violated both state and federal law. We must hold him accountable for his actions.
We must honor the brave women who came forward. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance for all, including the Governor. His outrageous behavior is an embarrassment to all of us and cannot be tolerated. He should put his ego aside for once and resign immediately!”
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan:
“The report outlined by the Attorney General provides a deeply disturbing, pervasive pattern of sexual harassment.
We all deserve to be safe at work. Sadly, these women were not and I commend them for coming forward and sharing their traumatic experiences. I also commend our Attorney General and her investigators for their professional and thorough investigation.
A corporate CEO, no matter how successful, would be fired for creating an environment that degraded and harmed so many women. A State that champions women’s rights cannot have a Governor who does not respect those rights. It is time for Andrew Cuomo to step down.”
“The fact that there are 11 women coming forward is deeply, deeply disturbing.” – “I do believe he should resign.” – “My heart goes out to the women…I thank them for their courage.” – “This is a very serious and damning report.”
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner:
“I called for the Governor’s resignation when these credible allegations came to light earlier this year. Now that we see this thorough and well documented investigation released by the Attorney General, there is no doubt that Andrew Cuomo cannot continue in a leadership role in this state. In light of the pervasive appalling behavior documented in this report, he should immediately resign. Failing this, the Assembly should impeach Andrew Cuomo. As a voter in New York, I am angry. As a human being, I am disgusted.”
Assemblymember John McDonald:
“Previously, I had issued a statement when the NYS Attorney General announced that an investigation would be undertaken to look into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo. This previous statement said the Governor should step aside immediately and allow the Lieutenant Governor to serve until the report was complete. The NYS Attorney General’s thorough independent investigation has concluded and a report has been issued that reaches the conclusion that Governor Andrew Cuomo violated state and federal laws and there was a pattern of sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, and unlawful retaliation. I believe that the Governor must step down immediately.
The public trust is of the utmost importance. If the Governor does not resign, I as a member of the NYS Assembly, am prepared to vote in favor of moving forward with the impeachment proceedings. I am thinking of all who bravely came forward with these substantiated allegations and thank them for bringing this to light, even when it was not easy for them to do.”
Assemblymember Pat Fahy:
“As one of the first legislators to call for an independent investigation into these serious allegations of sexual harassment against the Governor back in February, I commend New York State Attorney General Letitia James and her team for completing a thorough investigation – and I commend the women who came forward for their bravery and testimonies.
Given the extremely disturbing findings presented in the Attorney General’s final report, the Governor is no longer fit to serve and for the good of the State of New York, he should immediately step down, allowing Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul to assume the role of Acting Governor.
Beginning today, my colleagues and I in the State Assembly are convening to immediately begin addressing these findings and I will support action based on the facts presented to us, so that we may continue to effectively address the multiple crises facing the State at this time.”
Senator Daphne Jordan (R, C, I – Halfmoon):
“The just-released comprehensive, thorough, and independent report from New York State Attorney General Letitia James into the Governor’s disturbing pattern of sexual harassment, and workplace intimidation while breaking state and federal laws leads to one inescapable conclusion – one that I reached months ago: Cuomo must resign, now! As detailed in the Attorney General’s findings and a five-month-long investigation, Cuomo is a serial sexual harasser that has brought disgrace upon his office and stained our state. For the good of New York, Cuomo must go. He must immediately resign or face bipartisan impeachment during a Special Session of the state Legislature.”
NY-20 Congressional Candidate Liz Joy:
Liz Joy, candidate for Congress in NY-20, today released the following statement calling on Governor Cuomo to resign in light of the Attorney General’s investigation which revealed egregious unlawful sexual harassment by the Governor.
"Governor Cuomo must resign. Today we had confirmed for us what many of us have known for a long time. Andrew Cuomo’s own hand-picked Attorney General determined that his behavior in the Governor’s office was sexual harassment. This is no great shock to anyone who knows the Governor, but the extent of his egregious behavior as laid out by the Attorney General is jarring. Yet another sad day for the State of New York and all the women who have to suffer at the hands of abusers like Andrew Cuomo.
"The bravery of the women who came forward to hold this powerful Governor to account is truly inspiring, and I stand with them now through this difficult time and will always stand with them. Cuomo is sure to throw many slings and arrows at these women over the coming days, but we must not allow him to distract us and shirk responsibility for his actions.
"I am today calling on the Governor to resign his office and avoid dragging the state through a long and painful impeachment process. I am also calling on all elected officials, from both parties to demand that Andrew Cuomo resign for his actions. I especially call on Paul Tonko, who represents the State Capital where much of the sexual harassment occurred and yet has done nothing, to stand up to a powerful member of his own party, and demand justice for these brave women.
"This Governor now faces one of two options, resign or be impeached and removed from office. I pray that justice will be served in this case, and that our State and the brave women who came forward will be healed of this pervasive abuse that has infected the Governor’s mansion."
Senator Samra Brouk:
Senator Brouk Reiterates Call for Governor Cuomo’s Resignation "As Attorney General Letitia James shared with us this morning, it is abundantly clear that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo committed horrifying abuses of his position, perpetuated a hostile work environment and sexually assaulted a number of current and former New York State employees.
"I believed the governor’s accusers when they came forward this spring, and I believe the attorney general now. It takes bravery and strength to come forward as these women did, and I reiterate my call for Governor Cuomo to resign over his criminal conduct.
"If the governor does not immediately resign, I call on the Assembly and its leadership—Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Assembly Judiciary Chair Charles Lavine—to initiate impeachment proceedings. The report is more than enough to justify such action and, in cases like this, there are always more women who do not feel safe enough or have the support necessary to come forward—we may never know the full account of Governor Cuomo’s crimes. This conduct has no place in any workplace, and certainly not in public service."
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer:
Washington, D.C. – Following their calls for resignation in March, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the following joint statement:
“As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate, and completely unacceptable. 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 New York State Attorney General has conducted an independent, thorough and professional investigation that found the Governor violated state and federal law, had a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees, retaliated against at least one of the accusers, and created a hostile work environment.
“No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign.”
Senator Sean Ryan:
Today, August 3, 2021, New York State Senator Sean Ryan released the following statement regarding the report released this morning by Attorney General Letitia James:
“The report from the Attorney General’s office outlines a pattern of disturbing behavior, including serious impropriety by the Governor and attempts by his office to silence accusers. I commend the women in the report for coming forward to tell all of us about what they had to endure. The report makes clear that the Governor is not fit for the office he holds, and he should step down immediately and allow Lieutenant Governor Hochul to assume the powers of the Office of Governor. If he refuses to do so, it is incumbent upon the Assembly and Senate to remove him from office. I thank the Attorney General and the independent investigators for their deliberate work to uncover the truth.”
Albany County D.A. David Soares:
“Along with the public, today we have been made aware of the final independent report from AG Letitia James’ office regarding Governor Cuomo’s conduct as they relate to violations of civil harassment statutes. We will be formally requesting investigative materials obtained by the AG’s Office, and we welcome any victim to contact our office with additional information. As this matter is developing and we are reviewing the document released by the Attorney General today, we will refrain from any additional public comment at this time regarding the status of the ongoing criminal investigation by our office.”
New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta:
“The attorney general has detailed conduct that is repugnant and indefensible in any workplace and especially in the state’s highest elected office. Equally troubling was the governor’s response to the report. Sadly, both show he is unfit to serve in office.”
Asssemblyman Chris Tague:
“What we learned today is sickening, and the fact that the governor has coldly lied about the terrible things he did to several women for months, including an incident with a State Trooper we are just now hearing about, should chill people to their cores,” said Tague. “If the governor does not step down, we must move to impeach him immediately, because someone capable of these callous actions has no place in our state government. These actions follow a pattern of dishonesty and corruption that has been displayed in his handling of nursing homes during COVID-19, the alleged dangerous rush-job done on Mario Cuomo Bridge, and the involvement of his staffers in working on a book he received a $5.1 million book deal for.”
Senator Dan Stec:
“In February, I was one of the very first to call on Governor Cuomo to resign. Now with today’s report from the attorney general, including 179 individuals interviewed and over 74,000 documents reviewed, it should be clear to even the most loyal of Cuomo’s supporters that he is unfit to lead and he should resign immediately.
“Cuomo has continuously failed to do the right thing. From the harassing behavior itself, the lies and false denials, to the intimidation of witnesses and recent questioning of the investigators’ independence, he has shown how despicable he really is.
“Cuomo asked for an independent investigation, which is exactly what’s happened. Now the result is in, the truth is out and it is time for him to go. He, frankly, doesn’t deserve another day in our State Capitol.
“Years ago, I pushed for a constitutional amendment that would ensure unethical elected officials wouldn’t be able to cash in on their state pension. Cuomo’s conduct rises to that level and then some. My hope is that he doesn’t see a dime of the public pension he doesn’t deserve and that he resigns immediately so that our state can move forward free of his bullying, manipulative and unethical behavior.”
New York State DEC Comissioner Basil Seggos:
"All of this behavior is outrageous and unacceptable and unbecoming of a public official— or any person. I’m in awe of the strength of these women. Enough."
United University President Frederick Kowal:
"United University Professions, the nation’s largest higher education union, applauds and supports state Attorney General Letitia James for her fair and thorough investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"As one of the first unions in the state that called for this investigation, we are grateful to Attorney General James for leading a rigorous and independent investigation and producing a report that allowed these difficult truths to be brought forward. Her professionalism, her commitment to the best of values and her strong moral and ethical values ensured an impartial, fact-based investigation.
"We stand with the brave women whose courage and conscience brought them forward to stand up to the governor and speak their truth. We believe these women and we believe the stories they courageously shared.
"UUP is a union that believes that all workers deserve dignity and respect, and a humane, welcoming workplace free of harassment and bullying. Based on the findings of the attorney general’s report, it is clear that Gov. Cuomo is unfit to serve as governor of the great state of New York."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:
"After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General’s report concerning sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo, it is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office.
Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible."