The district attorneys for Manhattan, Albany, Nassau, and Westchester County have requested for New York Attorney General Letitia James to turn over evidence in connection to her office’s investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Westchester DA Mimi Rocah, in a letter obtained by NBC News, told James she plans to conduct an inquiry into whether the alleged sexual misconduct by Cuomo that occurred in her jurisdiction was “criminal in nature.”
A spokesperson for Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. told NBC later Wednesday that, “When our office learned yesterday that the Attorney General’s investigation of the Governor’s conduct was complete, our office contacted the Attorney General’s Office to begin requesting investigative materials in their possession pertaining to incidents that occurred in Manhattan.”
Another DA, David Soares of Albany County, had already announced his office would launch its own criminal investigation into Cuomo due to the allegations in the report.
On Tuesday, James released the bombshell findings of her nearly five-month investigation, which accused Cuomo of sexually harassing multiple women and running an administration with a “hostile work environment” that is “rife with fear and intimidation.”
“Specifically, the investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive sexual nature, that created a hostile work environment for women,” James said at a press conference.
Hours later, Cuomo denied allegations of sexual misconduct laid out in a report by James, signalling that he has no plans to resign.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately, or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said in a pre-recorded video, which included an eyebrow raising montage of photos of the governor hugging and kissing constituents and lawmakers over the years. “I am 63-years-old. I lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that is now who I have ever been. It’s important to me that you fully understand that.”
“I do kiss people on the forehead. I do kiss people on the cheek. I do kiss people on the hand. I do embrace people. I do hug people. Men and women,” the governor continued. “I do on occasion say ‘Ciao Bella.’ On occasion, I slip and say ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’ or ‘honey.’”
“My job is not about me. My job is about you. What matters to me at the end of the day is getting the most done I can for you. And that is what I do every day. And I will not be distracted from that job,” he added.
Following Cuomo’s remarks, the Democrat majority in the New York Assembly announced it is preparing to impeach the governor if he refuses to step down.
“After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General’s report concerning sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo, it is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office,” Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in a statement. “Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.”
“A lot of people are ready,” Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D) added. “The process is going to wind down and then, I believe, you’ll see the Assembly voting on articles of impeachment.”