Political pressure is building against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo—including calls for his resignation and impeachment from members of his own party—after a sixth woman has reportedly accused the powerful Democrat of "groping" her while the two were alone in the state's Executive Mansion.
The latest accusation by the governor's aide, whose name has not been revealed, is being called the "most serious allegation yet" against Cuomo—with unwanted fondling beneath her blouse going beyond allegations by other female aides of ongoing sexual harassment, unwanted advances, and—in one case—a kiss on the lips.
According to the Times Union of Albany, which first reported the latest allegations:
The woman's story was revealed within the governor's Executive Chamber on March 3, as staff members watched his first news conference in the week since Lindsey Boylan published an online essay detailing her own allegations against Cuomo. In the news conference, the governor denied ever touching any women "inappropriately."
Hearing those remarks, the female aide became emotional. At least one female supervisor came to her assistance and asked why she was upset. The female aide subsequently told the supervisor about what she said had been inappropriate encounters with Cuomo, the source said.
In response to the Times Union's questions about the allegations, Cuomo on Wednesday evening issued a statement to the newspaper: "As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general's report."
While the allegations pile up against Cuomo, and with an independent investigation by N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James underway, the calls for the governor to resign or be impeached are growing.
Boylan, the first of the governor's accusers to step forward, in recent days has criticized the politically powerful allies of Cuomo who have remained silent in the face of the numerous allegations. She has also spoken openly about the harassment she has faced from Democratic "blue trolls" and other Cuomo allies since making her story public.
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You are seeing blue trolls harass me and other survivors because @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer @SenGillibrand @RepJeffries @NydiaVelazquez @EspaillatNY @RepMaloney and countless others senior in the @TheDemocrats are supporting it with their silence.— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) March 7, 2021
"I do not expect Andrew Cuomo to have the self dignity to resign," tweeted State Assembly Member Ron Kim (D-40) late Wednesday night. "Impeach."
In addition to the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, Cuomo remains under intense scrutiny—including from lawmakers within his own party such as Kim—surrounding his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and his decision to shield nursing homes from liability even as facilities were ordered to accept coronavirus patients despite soaring infections and death rates.
Following Wednesday's allegations, the calls for Cuomo's ouster only grew.
Governor Cuomo needs to resign.— Khaleel M. Anderson (@KhaleelAnderson) March 11, 2021
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/PRurZgJVJr
"I believe that we need to continue the full and timely investigation by the Attorney General to determine the overarching scope of what has come to light in these last few weeks," said N.Y. State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, a freshman Democrat representing the Hudson Valley, in a statement Wednesday. "One resignation will not change the deeply systemic issues we have in our society. It will not eliminate the pervasive culture of misogyny, toxicity, and fear that we've seen perpetuated time and again. But, it is a start."
"In light of these allegations, coupled with the deliberate mishandling and withholding of information," Hinchey added, "I believe it is in the best interest of the people of New York for the Governor to resign."