Washington (CNN)New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s remaining political support among top Democrats crumbled on Tuesday in the wake of a report that found he sexually harassed multiple women.
Cuomo has insisted he did nothing wrong and made no indication in a video response that he will step down. But the investigation — which detailed the allegations of 11 women and found that Cuomo engaged in “unwelcome and nonconsensual touching,” among other allegations — not only reawakened calls for his resignation from familiar foes within the party but led others, including President Joe Biden, to issue fresh ones for his departure from Albany and propelled talk of impeachment by the state Legislature.
In all, the public outcry from Democrats amounts to the most serious challenge yet to Cuomo’s 11-year grip on New York state politics, and it was far from certain Tuesday night that despite his defiance, he will be able to withstand the pressure to leave office.
“I think he should resign. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for fact. I have not read all that data,” Biden told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during a news conference when asked whether Cuomo should resign or be impeached by state lawmakers.Responding later to another reporter’s question, the President said he hadn’t read James’ report, but noted that he previously told ABC News that Cuomo should resign if the investigation confirmed the accusations of harassment.
Shortly before Biden’s remarks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also urged Cuomo to resign, saying in a statement that he should step down out of “respect for the office he holds.” The California Democrat added: “As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth.”
In calling for Cuomo to step down, Biden and Pelosi joined New York’s two Democratic US senators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said earlier in the day that the governor should resign.
“As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate and completely unacceptable,” the senators said in a statement. “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.”
They concluded: “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.”