New York Democrat calls for beleaguered Governor Andrew Cuomo to tender his resignation intensified after two additional women came forward to accuse the Democrat of sexual harassment on Sunday, bringing the total to five.
The accusations include former press aide Karen Hinton, who told the Washington Post that when he was head of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department in 2000, Cuomo summoned her to his hotel room after an event, “embraced her” and “ pulled her back toward his body, holding her” after she resisted his advances, and Ana Liss, a policy operations aide who worked in the Governor’s office from 2013 to 2015. Liss told the Wall Street Journal that Cuomo “asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her sweetheart, touched her on her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand when she rose from her desk.”
Cuomo’s Director of Communications, Peter Ajemian, took a page out of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ book, by launching an assault on Hinton in defense of his Governor, “Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the governor’s who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made-up allegations from 21 years ago,” he said in a statement according to the Washington Examiner.
The CCP’s propaganda machine recently launched a smear campaign against Uyghur Muslim women who stepped forward in an interview with BBC cataloguing brutal instances of gang rape and sexual abuse experienced first hand during the genocide of the ethnic minority in the Xinjiang Autonomous region.
During a teleconference on Sunday, the 63 year-old Cuomo said he had no intentions of resigning amid the scandal, “That’s democracy. There is no way I resign,” he said.
“People are free to make allegations, but then you also have a process — due process — where people get the facts, and they make a determination…I was the Attorney General of New York for four years. I got all sorts of allegations against politicians.”
Last week Cuomo made a point of offering an apology for his conduct, “I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this. First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
“And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional. And I truly apologize for how I feel awful about it. And frankly, I am embarrassed by it. And it’s not easy to say, but that’s the truth. But this is what I want you to know, and I want you to know this from me directly.”
“I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable,” he added.
New York Democrat officials call for resignation
New York Democrat Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins called Cuomo’s recent scandals a “distraction” and called on the Governor to resign in a March 7 statement. More than 50 elected officials in the State legislature have called on the Governor to resign or face impeachment proceedings.
Stewart Cousins was joined by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie who questioned the “governor’s ability to continue to lead this state,” according to the New York Times.
Cuomo also faces an independent probe from State Attorney General Letitia James, who says the findings of her investigation will be released in a future public report.
The Governor’s sexual harassment scandals come after it was revealed that Cuomo’s actions resulted in the deaths of thousands of seniors in New York nursing homes during the earliest parts of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus pandemic as his office ordered homes to accept COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital.
His administration was also found to have under-reported deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent.
Cuomo’s situation is not without precedent in the New York Democrat faction. In 2008 when New York Democrat Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned during a prostitution scandal, Spitzer similarly faced a loss of support from his own Party.