[guest post by JVW]
From National Review Online:
New York governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, among them current and former state employees, in violation of federal and state law, state attorney general Letitia James announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
The announcement represents the conclusions of a months-long probe by the attorney general’s office into sexual harassment allegations made against the governor. Several women have alleged that the governor inappropriately touched them, although Cuomo has denied wrongdoing.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” James told reporters. Cuomo and the Executive Chamber cultivated a “toxic” workplace that allowed “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.”
James added that the probe “is civil in nature and does not have criminal consequences.” However, Anne Clark, one of the lead investigators for the probe, said prosecutors may look at the evidence contained in the report and determine whether to press charges.
“All the information is fully documented in the report, and any prosecutors or police departments can look at the evidence and determine if they want to take further action,” Clark said.
The report detailed allegations against Gov. Cuomo by eleven different women. They largely fall along the lines of obnoxious teenage boy garbage such as using a hug as a pretext to cop a quick feel of a woman’s breast or rear end, or forcing kisses on unwilling victims, much of which we have already discussed at this blog.
I had really began to despair that Governor Sonny was going to get away with this behavior, thanks to a notoriously cynical and corrupt political scene in New York and thanks to a lazy and self-satisfied media (with the exception of the New York Post, who has continued to hold Sonny’s feet to the fire) which can’t be bothered when sexual harassment charges are lodged against an otherwise mostly progressive Democrat. But Attorney General James has political ambitions too, and denying Andrew Cuomo a fourth term is the best way to position herself for a future run at the chief executive’s office.
Now it just remains to be seen what the fallout is. I’ve predicted all along that this ends not with the disgraced governor resigning from office, but with an announcement that he will indeed retire when his term is up at the end of next year. But key Democrats, including the President of the United States, are already on record has having opined that Gov. Cuomo should step down if the reports suggests he sexually harassed women, the legislature has opened up an impeachment inquiry regarding his behavior, and Congressional Democrats from the Empire State have begun the process of throwing their embattled governor under the bus. While I am sure Democrats will eventually find a technicality by which to conveniently backtrack on their “believe all women” stance, someone like Joe Biden whose Administration is seeking to narrow the due process rights of college men accused of sex harassment should theoretically have a difficult time explaining why a powerful, well-placed adult like Andrew Cuomo should be given any benefit of the doubt here. Though we should never underestimate the capacity of Democrats and their media guardians to engage in the rankest form of hypocrisy where party interests are in play, there is certainly going to be some reckoning up in Albany over the next few weeks.