ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called Friday on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign, adding the most powerful Democratic voices yet to calls for the governor to leave office in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and groping.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct,” New York’s two U.S. senators said in a joint statement. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”
Both had earlier said an independent investigation into the allegations against Cuomo was essential.
Cuomo insisted on Friday that he would not step down.
“I’m not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people,” he said.
A majority of state lawmakers had already called on Cuomo to resign, and more than half of New York’s Democratic congressional members joined those calls Friday.
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact, but yet form a conclusion and an opinion, are, in my opinion, reckless and dangerous,” said Cuomo.
A number of women have come forward accusing Governor Cuomo of sexual harassment. The latest claims the Governor groped her while at his mansion.
“I did not do what has been alleged. Period,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo says he is focused on the state budget due on April 1, which is exactly why Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush thinks he should resign before the impeachment inquiry begins.
“It would be very hard for the Assembly and Senate to be getting together right now, with the Governor, to be pushing forward a budget by April 1, when there’s so many allegations out there right now,” said Blankenbush (R. - 117th District).
Assemblyman Mark Walczyk, on the other hand, thinks State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie may be using this situation to his advantage.
“I think Speaker Heastie is playing a political game here. I think he is dangling the governor’s career in front of him and probably negotiating the governor’s career into the budget,” said Walczyk (R. - 116th District).
In the meantime, Governor Cuomo says serious allegations such as these require serious attention and he is confident these reviews will bring out the facts.