One of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment accusers scoffed at his public apology on Tuesday, claiming that he “doesn’t live in reality” as she joined a chorus of others including top Democratic officials and President Joe Biden in calling on him to step down.
In an appearance on “Good Morning America,” Charlotte Bennett, who was an aide to Cuomo in 2019, called his televised mea culpa “not much of an apology at all.”
Bennett and her attorneys are calling on the New York legislature, which is on summer break, to reconvene and begin impeachment proceedings after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday an investigation had found that Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term, had sexually harassed at least 10 other women in addition to Bennett.
“Based on his apology which was not much of an apology at all, he’s not living in reality. It’s up to us to take action. It is the responsibility of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to impeach him immediately. He is a danger,” she told GMA.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 4, 2021
In addition to both New York U.S. senators Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, several regional governors, Biden, and many other state elected officials have all called on Cuomo to step down.
That includes his nemesis in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who also said he thinks Cuomo ought to be indicted after James said that the governor violated both state and federal laws, though she has declined to prosecute.
“He has the audacity to say, ‘oh, you know, I like to hug people.’ I mean, that’s just out of touch with reality, but it’s also profoundly disrespectful,” de Blasio said. “How about saying, I did something wrong, I have to atone for my sins, I need to go and deal with my problems?”
That said, Albany District Attorney David Soares has said he wants to prosecute the governor but he says he’ll need the cooperation of Cuomo’s alleged victims to pull it off.
“I think after today’s presentation … it’s pretty clear that we have an obligation here, and thus we’ve reached out to the attorney general’s office seeking all of the evidence upon which they uncovered and relied upon to author their report,” he told NBC’s “Nightly News.”
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) August 3, 2021
Speaking after James’ office released the findings of an independent two-lawyer team, Soares said the report influenced him and other prosecutors “to believe that criminal activity in fact had indeed taken place.” However, he said his office would conduct its own probe first before determining how to proceed.
But that will require a formal complaint, and that will have to come from Cuomo’s accusers, Soares clarified.
“For any victim that’s out there who’s watching this transmission, please reach out to our office and we will conduct our investigation as discretely as possible,” he told NBC News’ Lester Holt, adding that his office has reached out to some of the 11 alleged victims.
In her interview with GMA, Bennett said Cuomo blamed his victims and that the “line of questioning” was “inappropriate.”
‘The victim-blaming is not okay. When there are two women there are more than two… we know that. He has been an established political figure for so long and he rules by fear. He is scary. I was scared – I didn’t know where to turn,” she said.
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