Addressing the allegations Friday, Cuomo said in a news conference to “let the review proceed. I’m not going to resign.”
“I did not do what has been alleged, period. I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives,” he continued.
He also, without naming names, attacked the lawmakers who have called on him to resign, saying politicians who take positions “without knowing the facts” are “reckless and dangerous” and bowing to “cancel culture.”
Thirteen House Democrats from New York on Friday said Cuomo must resign, arguing that the allegations have impeded his ability to effectively govern and serve the people of New York.
A source familiar with the conversations that preceded Friday’s coordinated call for Cuomo’s resignation said the group has been in touch as the allegations mounted, but only agreed to move forward together on Thursday. They decided to wait until Friday morning to go public so as not to step on President Joe Biden’s speech Thursday night.
The source said the tipping point for the members had been a combination of the most recent developments, including State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s announcement on Thursday that Democrats there would begin an impeachment investigation. The decision to go in, nearly all at the same time, was also an acknowledgement that when one made the call, it would up the pressure on all the rest.
They join Rep. Kathleen Rice, who earlier this month became the first out of the 19 Democrats in the New York House delegation to call for Cuomo to step down.
In separate statements Friday, fellow Democratic Reps. Grace Meng, Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Mondaire Jones, Antonio Delgado, Sean Patrick Maloney, Brian Higgins and Paul Tonko also urged Cuomo to step down as governor.
The administration left out Covid-19 deaths of residents who had been transferred out of the facility or to hospitals, a statement from Attorney General Letitia James’ Office said. While the report found that the overall number of deaths did not change, it led to a misrepresentation of the Covid-19 death toll in New York’s long-term care facilities.
Cuomo and his administration defended their decision, arguing that with both the Justice Department and New York state lawmakers asking questions, the federal inquiry became their priority. The governor denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.
Nadler said Friday that the allegations against Cuomo are “serious” and credible, and Cuomo is “guaranteed due process under law,” but the question of confidence in New York’s leader is one of “political judgment.”
“The bravery individuals have shown in coming forward to share their experiences with Governor Cuomo is inspiring, and I stand with them in support,” he said. “The repeated accusations against the Governor, and the manner in which he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point.”
Several of the Democrats on Friday said New York State Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation into Cuomo’s behavior should continue.
Appearing on ABC’s “The View” Thursday, Schumer said the allegations against Cuomo were “very troubling” and must be thoroughly investigated by the state attorney general, but stopped short of saying Cuomo should leave office.
Gillibrand also has not called for Cuomo’s resignation and backs the New York attorney general’s investigation. On Wednesday, she refused to discuss with CNN why she views allegations against Cuomo differently than the accusations Franken faced.
She, however, has called Cuomo’s behavior “completely unacceptable” and said that every allegation of sexual harassment “must be taken seriously and be reviewed.”
Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who also serves as Democratic Caucus Chair, told CNN last week that he did not think Cuomo should resign, instead calling for “a full, fair, complete independent investigation.”
Asked Friday in light of his colleagues’ push for Cuomo to resign, Jeffries’ spokeswoman Christie Stephenson told CNN that the congressman’s position has not changed.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Manu Raju and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.
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