The governor of the US state of New York is under enormous pressure to resign. The Democratic governors of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have also called on their party colleague Andrew Cuomo to leave.
They say they are shocked by the outcome of an investigation into sexually transgressive behaviour by the governor.
According to researchers, Cuomo has harassed at least 11 women by groping them and making comments about their appearance. The publication of their 165-page report on the misconduct immediately sparked calls for the governor’s departure. Important party members such as President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also believe Cuomo should resign.
Cuomo’s attorney, in turn, released a lengthy statement to defend her client. She said the investigators accusing Cuomo of wrongdoing were biased and ignored evidence. The lawyer’s statement also includes numerous photos showing the governor publicly kissing or embracing prominent politicians on the cheek, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Pelosi.
If Cuomo refuses to leave, his state’s parliament may try to push him aside. Democrats in the New York State Assembly held an emergency meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday. According to sources from The New York Times, they then discussed whether they should initiate impeachment proceedings based on the report on sexual misconduct alone. There would have been a lot of support for that.
If the governor does resign, he will be replaced by Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul. Then the state is ruled by a woman for the first time.