New York's two U.S. senators in a joint statement released Friday evening called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign hours after he insisted he would not leave office amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are the latest elected officials to call for Cuomo leave office as the governor continues to insist he has done nothing inappropriate. It is also the latest blow to Cuomo, who is fighting for his political life after weeks of snowballing controversy.
“Confronting and overcoming the COVID crisis requires sure and steady leadership,” they said in the statement. “We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct. 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.”
Cuomo is facing allegations leveled against him by more than a half dozen women, as well as stories of a bullying and harassing culture within his office. Democratic lawmakers at the state and federal level have called for him to step down, including nearly all of the state's congressional delegation.
Assembly Democrats on Thursday signaled they would launch an impeachment investigation of the governor. Attorney General Letitia James's office is conducting a separate investigation of the governor and the harassment accusations.
The senators' call is virtually the maximum level of external pressure on Cuomo to step aside, short of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden calling for him to do so. As of yet, they have not.
Cuomo in a conference call with reporters earlier in the day said he would not be a distraction as the state faces the ongoing pandemic, a vaccination effort, and the passage of a budget by the end of the month.