In an unscheduled question-answer session with a growing chorus of lawmakers, who have demanded the governor’s resignation following the seventh allegation of sexual misconduct, the president broke his weeks-long silence surrounding the allegations.
However, when asked whether he agrees with the calls for resignation, President Biden said: “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us.”
Biden’s silence came under question over the weekend as former Cuomo aide and the first accuser Lindsey Boylan called out the president and vice-president in a since-deleted tweet for refusing to address the scandal
“He [Cuomo] got on his platform today and said ‘there are many motivations of why people do things.’ He is calling up hate and speculation to be directed to his accusers. All harm and hate directed at the women sits squarely on @NYGovCuomo,” Boylan wrote on Twitter.
“It also calls into question the judgment and courage of both @POTUS and @KamalaHarris,” Boylan later added and deleted.
Pelosi Calls for Investigation
It appears that only House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follows Biden’s wait-and-see approach, with senators and representatives calling for Cuomo’s resignation.
Pelosi on Sunday repeatedly reaffirmed that she has “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment but also called for an investigation rather than a resignation
“I think we should see the results of the investigation,” Pelosi answered a direct question whether she would call for Cuomo’s resignation. She, however, added that the governor might still decide to resign if he feels that he can no longer govern the state
“What I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart – he loves New York – to see if he can govern effectively,” Pelosi said
Pelosi further commented that she has confidence in the attorney general of New York and then attempted to distance herself from dealings in New York State.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is tasked with investigating the allegations, with Cuomo stating he will “fully cooperate” with her probe. Additionally, the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn are also investigating Cuomo’s administration for underreporting thousands of COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Nearly 90% of New York’s congressional delegation, as well as 80% of state senators, have called for the governor’s resignation or impeachment. Last week, the state Assembly opened an investigation with full subpoena power into sexual misconduct allegations against the governor and his handling of COVID-19 at nursing homes. This action could be the first step towards impeachment.