August 3, 2021 Gov. Andrew Cuomo investigation

By Melissa Mahtani, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:56 PM ET, Tue August 3, 2021
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1:07 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

Cuomo denies conduct detailed in New York attorney general's report

(State of New York)
(State of New York)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to the attorney general's report today, saying "the facts are much different than what has been portrayed."

He denied the conduct detailed in the report. "I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," Cuomo said.

Here's more of how the governor responded: 

"My attorney who is a nonpolitical former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation, and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed. That document is available on my website. If you are interested, please take the time to read the facts and decide for yourself. First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances."

1:04 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

NOW: Cuomo addresses the New York attorney general's report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is addressing the attorney general’s report.

Earlier today, Attorney General Letitia James announced the conclusion of the state's investigation that found Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law."

1:15 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

Attorney for accuser calls for Cuomo to resign

From CNN's Lauren Del Valle

Attorney for accuser Charlotte Bennett is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his senior staff “who protected and enabled him” to “resign immediately” following the release of the New York attorney general's report.

The report found Gov. Andrew Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law."

“The findings released today demonstrate what Charlotte Bennett stated publicly, at great personal cost, more than six months ago: Governor Cuomo sexually harassed her during her employment as his executive assistant and his enablers protected him and covered it up,” attorney Debra Katz said. 

Katz goes on to say “He subjected Charlotte to sexual harassment, individually, and created a sexually hostile and toxic work environment for all women.”

“Sadly, Charlotte was not the only extraordinary woman whose career in the Executive Department was cut short and derailed as a result of the Governor’s illegal behavior. The Governor’s actions have deprived New Yorkers of the professionalism, passion, and dedication to their state that Charlotte and the many others who refused to submit to his advances have to offer.”

Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser, says she thought the governor was trying to sleep with her and she was deeply uncomfortable with questions he asked.

Bennett was named in the report. 

Cuomo has repeatedly denied the allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment.  

1:01 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

New York senator doubles down on call for Cuomo to resign

From CNN's Lauren Fox 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Pool)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said she believes that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign after a report  by the state's attorney general found Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law."

Gillibrand called the report today “serious and “damning.”

“His actions are inappropriate for the governor of New York state. He should resign,” she said.

She said she is still reading through the entire report, but that her heart goes out to the women who came forward.

Some context: Gillibrand came out months ago in favor of Cuomo resigning, but doubled down after today’s report.

1:03 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

New York attorney general's report found all 11 women claiming harassment credible, investigator says

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

The New York attorney general report details the allegations of 11 women claiming harassment.

Investigators found all 11 women to be credible, special investigator Anne Clark said, adding that their accounts had been corroborated to varying degrees.

One accuser, Charlotte Bennett, told people and texted with people real-time about her interactions with the governor, according to Clark.

One of the touching incidents alleged by a state trooper on Cuomo's security detail was witnessed another state trooper, who confirmed it to investigators, Clark said.

“I believe women. And I believe these 11 women,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said.

"This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government. And shines light on injustice that could be present at the highest levels of government. But none of this, none of this would have been illuminated if not for the heroic women who came forward," James said.

12:43 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

New York congressman: In order to move forward, we need new leadership

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a report from the New York attorney general's office, which found the governor "sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law."

Jones said he believes Cuomo can no longer serve in office. "Today is a very, very sad day in the history of our state. In order to move forward, we must have new leadership," he told CNN's John King.

"I think the governor's conduct is disqualifying and that's why so many democratic members of the New York congressional delegation and the state legislature called on him to resign several months ago," Jones said.

He continued, "My heart goes out to the victims most importantly of Governor Cuomo's conduct... And this is something that no one should ever have to experience. I'm also thinking of my sisters and friends who work in politics, and all of the people who are at risk of people like Gov. Cuomo's conduct. And that we have to stop this. We have to set a standard. And I'm hopeful we can resolve this in short order at the legislative level, if nothing else, in terms of removing him from office."

12:25 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

Here's what Biden said in March about the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo

President Biden said in March that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign if an investigation confirmed allegations of sexual harassment.

Biden and Cuomo are longtime personal friends and political allies, but Biden has kept his distance from Cuomo since taking office. 

Cuomo visited the White House in May as part of a larger group of governors to discuss Covid-19, and he has participated in video calls with the President on the same topic. 

But the White House sought to make clear he was only there in his official capacity: "Gov. Cuomo is governor of one of the largest states in the country, one of the places where the pandemic hit hardest, hit earliest, where many Americans are still struggling to get vaccinated, to make ends meet, so it was important for him to be part of the meeting," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time. 

The meeting was "not to give anyone a stamp of approval or to get their stamp of approval," she said. 

Biden has not visited New York since taking office. 

12:35 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

New York state legislative leaders condemn conduct detailed in attorney general's report

From CNN’s Lauren del Valle

New York State legislative leaders condemned Gov. Andrew Cuomo's conduct detailed in a report released Tuesday.

The report found Gov. Andrew Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law."

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says Cuomo can no longer serve as the governor. She previously called on the governor to resign if the investigation showed something inappropriate happened.

"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," the majority leader said in a statement Tuesday. 

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called the findings in the Attorney General's report "disturbing" and "gut wrenching,” but did not call for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.

"The conduct by the Governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office," Heastie says. 

The assembly Judiciary Committee, which is actively conducting an impeachment investigation, will conduct an "in-depth examination" of the report, Heastie said in a statement released Tuesday.  

Read the statement From 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.”

Here's statement from Speaker Carl Heastie:

We have received the Attorney General's 168 page report containing findings of sexual harassment and misconduct committed by Governor Cuomo. The findings contained in the report are disturbing. The details provided by the victims are gut-wrenching. Our hearts go out to all the individuals who have had to endure this horrible experience. The conduct by the Governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.
The report has been forwarded to the members of the Judiciary Committee as well as all members of the Assembly. We will now undertake an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding exhibits with our Assembly counsels as well the legal firm we have retained to assist us.
We will have more to say in the very near future.

12:30 p.m. ET, August 3, 2021

New York City mayor calls actions by governor outlined in the report "unacceptable"

From CNN's Julian Cummings

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the actions by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described in a report released today by the New York attorney general “unacceptable” and “very troubling and painful to hear.”

De Blasio had not yet read the report as it was released by New York Attorney General Letitia James during his news conference but was read the summary by reporters during a question and answer session. He was read parts of the report that outlined actions of Cuomo that included unwanted touching, offensive comments and sexual harassment.

“The summary you just gave represents behavior that is unacceptable. Unacceptable to anyone let alone a public servant. I’ve been very clear about the fact that what we have seen is disqualifying. I’ll look at this report and have more to say. It’s very, very troubling and painful to hear that accounting of a powerful person treating people that way," de Blasio said after being read a summary of the report. 

The mayor has been vocal about the allegations against the governor, at several points calling for the governor to step aside if allegations were true. 

De Blasio and Cuomo have been seen as political rivals and have often clashed on issues regarding New York City in the past.