Six New York Democrats on Tuesday issued a letter calling for the impeachment of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, over his handling of the state’s CCP virus response and the mounting sexual harassment allegations against him.
Cuomo, 63, has been accused of harassment by three women, two of whom are former aides. He has also been under fire for withholding COVID-19 death data from state lawmakers and the public.
The lawmakers from the New York State Senate and Assembly jointly demanded that impeachment proceedings be held against the governor, reported Business Insider.
In their letter, they called Cuomo’s behavior “predatory” and accused him of “gross misconduct” and of abusing his power.
“The accounts of sexual harassment from the women who have courageously come forward confirm what many in Albany have known for years: that Governor Cuomo uses his power to belittle, bully and harass his employees and colleagues,” wrote the lawmakers, including State Sens. Julia Salazar and Jabari Brisport, and Assembly Members Emily Gallagher, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Zohran Mamdani, and Marcela Mitaynes.
“The accounts add to recent revelations of gross misconduct. It is time for the legislature to demand accountability. Impeachment proceedings are the appropriate avenue for us to pursue as legislators to hold the Governor accountable for his many abuses of power and remove him from office.”
Late Monday, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) was the first Democratic member of Congress to call on Cuomo to resign, after a third woman came forward with harassment allegations against Cuomo.
Anna Ruch, 33, said that she and the governor met at a wedding in September 2019, where he made unwanted advances toward her.
Ruch alleged that he placed his hand on her bare lower back, called her “aggressive” when she promptly removed it, and then put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her.
Both Lindsey Boylan, former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, and Charlotte Bennett, another former aide to the governor, have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
Boylan, a Democrat running for the post of Manhattan borough president, in a post published last week, accused Cuomo of making inappropriate remarks, and allegedly touching and kissing her without consent. She said he would go out of his way to “touch me on my lower back, arms, and legs,” compare her to one of his rumored former girlfriends, and once suggested that they should “play strip poker” on a flight from an event in October 2017.
Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser to Cuomo, accused the governor of sexually harassing her, including asking inappropriate questions.
Separately, New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, published a report in January that found that the state under-counted nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent, while the New York Post later reported that one of Cuomo’s aides, Melissa DeRosa, admitted to lawmakers in a private setting that the administration hid nursing home data last summer due to a federal probe.
The lawmakers in their letter said that the Cuomo administration’s admission of “withholding critical information, including the thousands of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, from the public and from the federal government” was sufficient to proceed with the governor’s impeachment, before the emergence of sexual harassment allegations.
“As socialists and as elected representatives, we must demonstrate solidarity in this moment and ensure Governor Cuomo cannot simply walk away from these accusations,” they said.
Cuomo’s office hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment by The Epoch Times. On Sunday, his office issued a statement saying he “never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm.”
Separately on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the harassment allegations against the governor “very troubling,” but didn’t suggest he should resign.
Schumer said he has “faith” in James’s investigation of the issue.
“I know the attorney general will conduct a thorough investigation that will be totally, totally independent without any … outside interference, political or otherwise,” Schumer told reporters.