Stefanik calls for governor’s arrest; others call for resignation

WWNY Stefanik makes formal bid to replace Cheney as House GOP #3
WWNY Stefanik makes formal bid to replace Cheney as House GOP #3
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 12:23 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (WWNY) - State Attorney General Letitia James said that while she won’t make any referrals to prosecutors or law enforcement, they can take information from a report on sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and run with it.

One person that wants that to happen is Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a Republican longtime critic of the Democratic governor.

“No one is above the law and today justice must be served. Governor Cuomo must resign and be arrested immediately,” Stefanik said in a statement shortly after the attorney general’s announcement. “President Joe Biden must immediately call for Cuomo’s resignation.”

You can see Stefanik’s full statement below.

Also calling for action was Republican 117th District Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush.

“The attorney general made it clear to New Yorkers and the world that Gov. Cuomo is a serial sexual predator,” Blankenbush said. “He must resign immediately.”

State Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District) released this statement:

“The findings of the Attorney General’s independent investigation are truly appalling. This abhorrent behavior is absolutely unacceptable for the top elected office holder in New York State. The independent, in-depth report confirms distributing allegations made by nearly a dozen women and makes it abundantly clear that the Governor must resign.”

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay calls the governor unfit to serve, and if Cuomo doesn’t step down, the legislature should remove the governor from office.

“The political pressure is so great that it’s going to be very difficult for them to protect the governor. I’m not even sure a number of the members in the Democratic Conference of the Assembly are even looking to protect the governor,” the Republican said.

State Senator Joe Griffo (R. - 47th District) agrees with his colleagues.

“The process of impeachment in the state of New York under our Constitution has to originate in the Assembly. They would bring articles of impeachment based on certain offenses. They would then submit that to the Senate which becomes the court,” he said.

At least one Democrat is also calling for the governor to resign. In a statement, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said: “This is a sad day for New York. The Attorney General’s report documents unacceptable workplace behavior in the Executive Chamber at the highest level of state leadership. The women who came forward are courageous, and they have been heard. As I stated months ago, the Governor should step down.”

The Jefferson County Democratic Committee is also calling on Governor Cuomo to resign. It released this statement: “Attorney General James’ report stated that Governor Cuomo violated numerous Federal and State laws on sexual harassment in creating a ‘hostile work environment’ which was ‘rife in fear and intimidation.’ As Democrats, we believe in the importance of public trust and integrity. We must hold ourselves and our elected leaders to the highest standards and lead by example. The JCDC feels that Governor Cuomo has violated that trust, and should resign immediately.”

The independent report concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Cuomo’s second in command, did not call for his resignation, but issued this statement:

“Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service. The Attorney General’s investigation has documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women. I believe these brave women and admire their courage coming forward. No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps. Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment.”

James said at a news conference Tuesday that the report speaks for itself.

“Our work is concluded, and the document is now public, and the matter is civil in nature, and it does not have any criminal consequences,” James said.

But now, said Anne Clark, one of two lawyers investigating the allegations, it’s up to other officials to decide whether to take action.

“As the attorney general stated,” Clark said, “all the information is fully documented in the report and any prosecutors or police departments can look at the information and determine if they want to take further action.”

The five-month investigation revealed that the governor sexually harassed as many as 11 women and maintained a hostile working environment for women in the executive chamber.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, flanked by independent investigators Anne Clark and...
New York Attorney General Letitia James, flanked by independent investigators Anne Clark and Joon Kim, addresses reporters after releasing a report that concludes Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed several women, including current and former state employees.(WWNY)

Here is Stefanik’s statement:

“No one is above the law and today justice must be served. Governor Cuomo must resign and be arrested immediately,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “President Joe Biden must immediately call for Cuomo’s resignation.”

“In December, I was the first federal official to publicly call for an independent investigation into Governor Cuomo’s sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. The independent investigation led by the Attorney General’s office confirms Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women, including employees in his office and state troopers. The media and Democrats smeared me and closed ranks to protect Cuomo, a shameful chapter in New York history. All of them including his staff must be held to account. These brave women deserve swift and definitive justice.”

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