New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned under pressure Tuesday when he pleaded innocent sexual harassment and no doubt state lawmakers are relieved. That’s a shame. Given that Mr Cuomo insisted that the allegations were “unfair”, democratic accountability would have been better served by defending himself in impeachment proceedings.
The bottom fell out of Mr Cuomo’s political support last week after Attorney General Letitia Jamespublished a report Allegations against the governor by 11 women. If so, the sexually charged remarks and the touching and fondling would be a reason for firing an executive from any private company. However, Mr Cuomo said on Tuesday that “I really believe it is politically motivated” even as he resigned.
The governor has made many enemies in Albany in eleven years, and he is particularly resentful of the left wing of his party. The report was commissioned (at his request) by one of the champions of the left, Ms. James, who might seek governorship. A co-author, Joon Kim, previously had Mr. Cuomo’s office as a prosecutor in his crosshairs. It is no coincidence that the charges only surfaced after Mr Cuomo was no longer hailed by the adoring media as a heroic anti-Trump slide during the 2020 elections.
Mr. Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, argued in the days leading up to his resignation that investigators were basing their investigation on a pre-determined conclusion. Citing email timestamps, she asked legitimate questions about how carefully Ms. James’ team investigated a grave allegation – that Mr. Cuomo groped an assistant to the management team at the governor’s mansion in November 2020.
However, even Mr. Cuomo did not claim that the charges came out of nowhere. “In my opinion, I haven’t crossed the line with anyone,” he said. “But I didn’t realize to what extent the line was being redrawn.”