President Joe Biden said on March 14 that he wants to see the results of an investigation into the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct facing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo when asked if the Democratic governor should resign.
“I think the investigation is underway, and we should see what it brings us,” Biden told reporters at the White House. His statement represents his first comments on the matter.
Cuomo is facing calls from Democrats to resign as seven women have come forward to accuse the governor of inappropriate sexual conduct. New York Attorney General Letitia James is currently probing the allegations against Cuomo.
Meanwhile, Cuomo has remained resolute about not stepping down, blaming “cancel culture” for the pressure.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in a statement late March 12 urged Cuomo to resign, arguing that the governor has lost the confidence of his “governing partners and the people of New York” amid the controversy.
“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. 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,” the two lawmakers said in a statement.
Other congressional lawmakers who have called for his resignation include Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Similarly, more than 55 Democratic state legislators signed a letter on March 11 calling for Cuomo’s resignation, and State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that its Judiciary Committee has been authorized to initiate an “impeachment investigation” into the allegations. The probe will run parallel to James’s review.
Biden’s comments echo recent remarks made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who called the accusations “credible and serious,” but stopped short of calling for Cuomo’s resignation.
“The governor should look inside his heart, he loves New York, to see if he can govern effectively,” Pelosi said on ABC’s This Week.
In response to the pressure, Cuomo described himself as a political outsider, while urging the public to wait for the investigation to conclude.
The governor said that it’s “politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion” who are calling on him to resign, describing such prospects as “reckless and dangerous.”
“Let the review proceed, I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people,” he said.
“I am not part of the political club, and you know what? I am proud of it,” he added. “I have been in the public eye my entire life. My entire life I have been under public scrutiny, since I was 23 years old and ran my father’s campaign. New Yorkers know me. Wait for the facts.”
Cuomo is also the subject of multiple investigations regarding the state’s high number of nursing home deaths. Critics say an order from Cuomo led to the higher number of COVID-19 deaths, but administration officials have defended their decisions, claiming that workers in the facilities were the primary cause of the virus spread.
Mimi Nguyen-Ly and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.