[guest post by Dana]
But first, how is this not damning:
Days after Lindsey Boylan became the first woman to accuse Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of sexual harassment in a series of Twitter posts in December, people tied to the governor started circulating an open letter that they hoped former staff members would sign.
The letter was a full-on attack on Ms. Boylan’s credibility, suggesting that her accusation was premeditated and politically motivated. It disclosed personnel complaints filed against her and attempted to link her to supporters of former President Donald J. Trump.
“Weaponizing a claim of sexual harassment for personal political gain or to achieve notoriety cannot be tolerated,” the letter concluded. “False claims demean the veracity of credible claims.”
The initial idea, according to three people with direct knowledge of the events, was to have former Cuomo aides — especially women — sign their names to the letter and circulate it fairly widely.
Multiple drafts were created, and Mr. Cuomo was involved in creating the letter, one of the people said. Current aides to the governor emailed at least one draft to a group of former advisers. From there, it circulated to current and former top aides to the governor.
The report notes that this is a fairly common tactic used in harassment claims:
The use of such tactics in harassment claims is so commonplace that it has its own acronym: DARVO, which stands for “deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender.”
Along with investigations into the allegations against Cuomo being overseen by the state attorney general and the State Assembly, Cuomo’s office has also opened up its own investigation:
Despite the state attorney general’s ongoing investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, senior aides to the governor said they are also conducting their own “parallel review” of a female aide’s recent account of being groped by Cuomo at the Executive Mansion late last year.
“We have our own inquiries ongoing,” a senior aide to the governor told the Times Union. “We have an obligation to investigate any claim of sexual harassment. And we, after reporting (the female aide’s allegations) to the (attorney general), were directed to continue our own inquiry. … So there are multiple inquiries.”
The attorney for the woman who accused Cuomo of groping her objected to the “shadow investigation” being done by Cuomo’s office:
It’s absurd. Why would you be doing that? It’s not appropriate, and obviously we’re concerned with the ramifications and the effect on witnesses and the quest for the truth.