He was a skilled political operator for many years. His party ranks rose through the ranks because of his shrewd intuitions, meticulous calculations, and a well-known last name. He was then the dominant chief executive, with a strong national brand and a firm grip on New York’s power.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was a meticulously organized public figure during the pandemic that made him one of the most prominent national figures in his party’s party. However, Tuesday’s shocking report, which claimed he had sexually harassed 11 females and violated both federal and state laws, poses a serious threat to his political career.
Over the span of just a few hours, an already-diminished governor lost the support of a cascade of allies and state and national party leaders who had been withholding judgment, throwing his ability to remain in office — much less win a fourth term — into doubt.
The public’s reaction to the New York State Attorney General’s Office investigation is still not clear. Unless Mr. Cuomo quits, the immediate consequences of that report will be decided largely by the State Assembly. Speaker Carl E. Heastie stated, “It’s abundantly clear that the governor has lost confidence in the Assembly Democratic majority, and that he cannot continue in office.”
The events could happen quickly: One person who is familiar with the process stated that it could take only a month for the inquiry to be completed and the articles of impeachment to be drawn up. The trial at the State Senate could start as early as September or October.
It is clear that Mr. Cuomo has lost his ability to intimidate, cajole or intimidate his fellow politicians and is now at the most vulnerable point of his public life. This moment is set to change the New York landscape of power.
Lawmakers, who were previously afraid of criticizing Mr. Cuomo publicly, but are now calling for his resignation. Elected officials who represent core Cuomo constituencies — including Black voters and white suburban voters — have increasingly urged him to step aside. Eric Adams, the Democratic mayoral nominee whom Mr. Cuomo was eager to embrace earlier this summer, encouraged the Assembly to “move forward with impeachment proceedings if the governor will not resign,” and top labor leaders are increasingly breaking with the governor.
Most significantly, President Biden — a longtime friend of Mr. Cuomo’s — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has long been close with the Cuomo family, for the first time on Tuesday urged him to step aside.
Yet, Cuomo seemed determined to create a counternarrative. This omitted key findings from the attorney general’s probe and downplayed or dismissed other allegations. On Tuesday’s extraordinary live appearance, Mr. Cuomo tried to reach out to older voters to express sympathy for his suggestion that misconduct allegations can be traced back to “generational and cultural” differences.
On Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo stated that he does kiss people on their hands. “I do embrace people. I hug both men and women. Sometimes I will say “Ciao bella” or “darling”.
The allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct made by 11 women went far beyond concerns around Mr. Cuomo’s language or the occasional hug. Letitia James, the attorney general, reported numerous instances of unwelcome and sexualized touching. He also described an abusive workplace, and retaliated against 11 women who made their allegations public.
Albany prosecutors are also investigating Mr. Cuomo. They said they would request any investigative materials the attorney general’s office has collected and encouraged other victims to come forward.
Mr. Cuomo stated that he had never inappropriately touched or made inappropriate advances to anyone.
Video addresses that featured Cuomo hugging and caringssing people included former President Bill Clinton, former Representative Charles B. Rangel. Mr. Cuomo wanted to remind voters what they loved about him. He also skipped over any new allegations of wrongdoing.