According to the news media, seven women have complained of harassment or misconduct ranging from lewd comments to groping. The groping allegation has been referred to the local police.
Cuomo has apologized for making anyone uncomfortable but denies the allegations.
Impeachment and resignation are on the table
Nevertheless, Democrats in the New York legislature have been moving toward impeachment. And, New York’s two senators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have joined other critics in the congressional delegation in calling for his resignation.
Schumer and Gillibrand joined most of New York’s representatives in the call for resignation shortly after Cuomo announced that he would not step down. He went on to say that certain politicians are “reckless and dangerous” for pushing for his resignation before the investigation is complete.
“Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons,” Cuomo said to reporters recently, “including political expediency and bowing to pressure. But people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth.”
Cuomo and his loyalists joined the president of the New York branch of the NAACP and former New York representative Nita Lowey to call for the investigation to be finished before taking any action to oust Cuomo.
“At least until [investigators] have reported their conclusions, the Governor should remain in office,” said Lowey in a statement to the New York State Democratic Committee.
Several of New York’s representatives argued that the governor can no longer govern effectively as he responds to multiple investigations. Some recommended that he allow the lieutenant governor to take over, at least for now.
Meanwhile, the White House has been trying to remain above the fray, saying that the president has nothing new to add to the discussion.
Should Cuomo resign?
From a defense perspective, probably not. Resigning now would almost certainly be career ending for Cuomo, and he certainly has the right to wait until the investigations are complete. Although this is not a court proceeding, it is hard to argue that he shouldn’t receive at least that much due process.
Unlike in a criminal trial, there is no requirement here that the allegations be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the issue is merely if the allegations seem credible enough that people lose confidence in the governor’s leadership.
Cuomo may find the calls for his resignation are too difficult to resist.