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How Andrew Cuomo went from talk of late-draft into 2020 election to disgraced sex pest

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a longtime politico with a storied career spanning decades, has fallen from grace after an attorney general’s report issued on Tuesday accused him of sexually harassing multiple women.

Cuomo quickly went from being the talk of late-draft into 2020 election to defeat then-President Donald Trump to battling calls for his impeachment after his first accuser came forth with allegations in December.

The Democratic governor was born in New York City to parents Mario Cuomo, a three-term governor himself, and Matilda Raffa Cuomo on Dec. 6, 1957.

Cuomo, who earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1982, started his political career in his mid-20s while working as campaign manager on his father’s 1982 campaign for governor.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a longtime politico with a storied career spanning decades, has fallen from grace after an attorney general’s report

The Democratic governor was born in New York City to parents Mario Cuomo, a three-term governor himself, and Matilda Raffa Cuomo on Dec. 6, 1957.

The Democratic governor was born in New York City to parents Mario Cuomo, a three-term governor himself, and Matilda Raffa Cuomo on Dec. 6, 1957.

Cuomo, who earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1982, started his political career in his mid-20s while working as campaign manager on his father's 1982 campaign for governor

Cuomo, who earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1982, started his political career in his mid-20s while working as campaign manager on his father’s 1982 campaign for governor

Charlotte Bennett, 25, (pictured) came out on Saturday and said Cuomo told her he was open to dating women in their 20s and asked her questions about her personal life in June

It comes after Lindsey Boylan, 36, (pictured) claimed he asked her to play strip poker and kissed her on the lips without her permission when she worked for him in 2017

Charlotte Bennett, 25, (left) came out on Saturday and said Cuomo told her he was open to dating women in their 20s and asked her questions about her personal life in June. It comes after Lindsey Boylan, 36, (right) claimed he asked her to play strip poker and kissed her on the lips without her permission when she worked for him in 2017

What next for Andrew Cuomo?

It looks like checkmate for Andrew Cuomo as pressure grows on him to step down despite his desperate attempts to cling on to power.

Senior Democrats including President Joe Biden are pushing for Cuomo to resign, with some looking to impeach the embattled politician.

New York state assembly speaker Carl Heastie, who launched an impeachment inquiry in March, said Cuomo has ‘lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority’ and ‘can no longer remain in office’, according to CNN.

If Cuomo tries to cling on to power rather than step down, he will likely face an impeachment probe. 

Impeachment would be carried out by the New York state assembly which is made up of 150 lawmakers.

Only a majority of votes is needed for impeachment for ‘misconduct of malversation’, according to the state constitution.

The assembly’s makeup is overwhelmingly Democrat, with 106 out of 150 seats, and a majority of 76 votes needed for impeachment. 

If impeached, Cuomo would be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

A trial would then be held by the New York senate where Democrats hold 43 of 63 seats and a two-thirds majority is needed to convict. 

If convicted, Cuomo would be removed from office, but if he is found not guilty, he could return to being governor. 

An impeachment probe launched in March is still ongoing and are meeting to decide whether to proceed or draft articles in other areas of Cuomo’s leadership relating to the nursing homes Covid scandal, cover-up allegations over the Mario Cuomo Bridge, and claims of using state resources for personal gain.

So far, Cuomo has insisted he has done nothing wrong and has made no moves to step down as he tries to cling on to power.

After his father was elected to his first term, Cuomo worked as one of his policy advisors before landing a job in 1984 as a New York assistant district attorney. 

In 1990, Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and niece of former President John F. Kennedy. They were married for 15 years and have three daughters together. 

From 1990 to 1993, Cuomo served as chair of the New York City Homeless Commission during New York City mayor David Dinkins’ administration.

In 1993, Cuomo was appointed as an assistant secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in President Bill Clinton’s administration.

He served as HUD Secretary from January 1997 until January 20, 2001 when George. W. Bush became president.

In 2002, Cuomo made his first attempt running for governor in an bid to unseat former Republican Gov. George Pataki – who unseated his father. Trailing in polls to Carl McCall, he withdrew from the Democratic primary a week before the election. 

Cuomo was elected Attorney General of New York in 2006 and served in the role until he was elected to his first term as governor in 2010.

Cuomo became Governor of New York in 2011 and has held onto the role through three terms since then, nabbing victories in 2014 and again in 2018. He now also serving as chair of the National Governors Association.

Then last spring, he emerged as a national leader on issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, holding detailed news conferences at a time when President Donald Trump was playing down the pandemic. 

Cuomo’s daily briefings gripped at the heart of the nation as showed leadership in relaying the latest statistics amid the pandemic and was honored by his fans with the portmanteau ‘Cuomosexuals.’

The governor won an Emmy for the beloved briefings – even bantering at times with his brother CNN host Chris Cuomo. He later landed a $5.1 million book deal for his October memoir American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The New York Times bestseller, published by Penguin Random House division Crown Publishing Group, largely recounts his COVID press conferences and has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon reviews.

However, the embattled governor was ‘obsessed’ with the ratings of his briefings and his image behind the scenes, The New York Times reported in March after Cuomo was hit with further allegations of sexual harassment.

Cuomo was also hit with startling revelations about another scandal about nursing home related deaths in New York amid the pandemic that had been brewing since at least September  – casting a shadow over his image of being a hero of titanic stature.

On the day of his 111th and final daily coronavirus update, Cuomo and his team held a maskless celebration in the backyard of the governor’s mansion in Albany and toasted their successes with beer and wine, The New York Times reported. 

‘To the 59 million viewers who shared in these daily briefings, thank you,’ Cuomo said as he ended the briefing.

In 1993, Cuomo was appointed as an assistant secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in President Bill Clinton's administration

In 1993, Cuomo was appointed as an assistant secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in President Bill Clinton’s administration

Cuomo is pictured with then-Vice President Joe Biden  in 2015

Cuomo is pictured with then-Vice President Joe Biden  in 2015

The governor won an Emmy for the beloved briefings - even bantering at times with his brother CNN host Chris Cuomo

The governor won an Emmy for the beloved briefings – even bantering at times with his brother CNN host Chris Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo holds COVID-19 briefing with Melissa DeRosa in July 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo holds COVID-19 briefing with Melissa DeRosa in July 2020

Cuomo holds his daily COVID-19 and receives a coronavirus test in May 2020

Cuomo holds his daily COVID-19 and receives a coronavirus test in May 2020

Cuomo, 63, has lived in the mansion full time and does not own or rent any other property, sources told The New York Times. 

In December, former aide Lindsey Boylan accused Cuomo with a thread on Twitter – the catalyst which sent his career spiraling as the few allies he held onto over his political career, including his brother Chris, sought to advise him through the crisis.

‘Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched,’ Boylan tweeted. 

Boylan, 36, claimed he asked her to play strip poker and kissed her on the lips without her permission when she worked for him in 2017.  The tweets received some media coverage but do not become a major national story. 

The new report upheld Boylan’s claims and found that senior Cuomo aides unlawfully retaliated against Boylan by leaking confidential files about her to the press and drafting an op-ed attacking her that was shared among senior staff.

Then in February, his fall from grace gains momentum when a second former aide, Charlotte Bennett, tells The New York Times that Cuomo asked her inappropriate questions about her sex life. 

A New York judge has ordered the Cuomo administration to hand over documents showing all deaths associated with nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

A New York judge has ordered the Cuomo administration to hand over documents showing all deaths associated with nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

The order comes after Cuomo said 'who cares' about who died at a nursing home versus at a hospital

The order comes after Cuomo said ‘who cares’ about who died at a nursing home versus at a hospital

Bennett, 25, was a health policy adviser in the Democratic governor’s administration until November. She said Cuomo asked her inappropriate questions about her sex life, including whether she ever had sex with older men.

Cuomo also told her that he was ‘lonely’ and ‘wanted to be touched,’ according to the report.

When Bennett complained to administration officials that she felt like the governor was hitting on her, she was transferred to another job. The administration did not formally investigate or report the allegations to the governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the attorney general’s investigators determined.

Cuomo later apologized to Bennett in a recorded video released in response to the attorney general’s report, saying that he had been trying to counsel her after she confided in him that she is a sexual assault survivor because someone in his family had suffered a similar experience.

Then in February, Cuomo called for a ‘full and thorough review’ led by a former federal judge of his choosing. New York Attorney General Letitia James instead announces that her office will hire and deputize outside lawyers to investigate.

That same month, an Albany judge ruled that the Cuomo administration’s Health Department broke New York State law by failing to provide totals of all nursing home deaths caused by COVID-19 to a watchdog group that had requested the records.

Alyssa McGrath said Cuomo ogled her body, called her and her co-worker 'mingle mamas' and asked about her lack of a wedding ring as well as well calling her beautiful in Italian

A lawyer for Cuomo said the governor often uses Italian phrases like 'ciao bella'

Alyssa McGrath said Cuomo ogled her body, called her and her co-worker ‘mingle mamas’ and asked about her lack of a wedding ring as well calling her beautiful in Italian

She also claimed Cuomo looked down her shirt to compliment her on her necklace during a meeting with him

She also claimed Cuomo looked down her shirt to compliment her on her necklace during a meeting with him

Albany Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor ordered the state Department of Health to provide the records to the Empire Center for Public Policy within five business days and pay their legal costs.

The watchdog had filed a Freedom of Information Law request in August seeking to obtain the documents from the Health Department – which delayed releasing them for months.

The ruling comes after a report from the office of Letitia James in January found that the Cuomo administration had misled the public about the total number of nursing home residents killed by the pandemic. 

James’ report also concluded that ‘resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by DOH by approximately 50 percent.’

State officials later released a general tally of the number of deaths related to nursing homes during the coronavirus.

Then on March 1, a third woman comes forward with accusations of inappropriate behavior in an interview with The New York Times.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, walks with his daughter on the grounds of the Governor's Mansion following allegations that he had sexually harassed young women, in Albany in March

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, walks with his daughter on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion following allegations that he had sexually harassed young women, in Albany in March

, Cuomo was pictured strolling the grounds of the Governor's Mansion draped in a blanket with his cellphone pressed to his ear

, Cuomo was pictured strolling the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion draped in a blanket with his cellphone pressed to his ear

That woman, Anna Ruch, said she met Cuomo at a wedding reception for one of Cuomo’s staff members in September 2019. 

She told investigators Cuomo touched her bare back and, after she removed his hand, grabbed her face and kissed her. It was photographed by her friend.

Ruch said the governor remarked: ‘Wow, you’re aggressive.’

Cuomo says he commonly kisses people on the face, attributing it to his Italian heritage, and said he didn’t mean to make Ruch feel uncomfortable.

His support among senior party leaders began to crack the next day when U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York called the allegations against Cuomo ‘serious, very troubling.’

Cuomo then pledged to cooperate with the investigation and apologized for his behavior but says he never touched anyone inappropriately and said he was ‘not going to resign.’

In March, more allegations started to pour in as two more women accuse Cuomo of inappropriate behavior in interviews published in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Ana Liss, 35, told the WSJ that he touched her on her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand at her desk when she served as a policy and operations aide.

Liss worked as an aide in Cuomo’s office from 2013 to 2015 and said she did not immediately come forward about the harassment because, in the governor’s office, ‘the typical rules did not apply.’ 

Karen Hinton told the Washington Post that Cuomo ‘summoned her to his dimly lit hotel room and embraced her after a work event in 2000’ when he led the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

More than 55 Democratic legislators in New York signed a letter calling on Cuomo to resign and the Assembly speaker approved an impeachment investigation in mid-March. 

Top U.S. lawmakers for New York – including Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – called on him to resign the following day, as President Joe Biden quickly joined in the resignation calls days later. 

Later that month, Alyssa McGrath, 33, said the governor ogled her body, called her and her co-worker ‘mingle mamas’ and asked about her lack of a wedding ring, according to The New York Times.

The New York Times conducted several interviews with McGrath in which she described the governor’s pattern of flirtatious banter.

She also claimed he looked down her shirt to compliment her on her necklace, told her that she’s beautiful in Italian and kissed her on the forehead during an office Christmas party in 2019.

The next day, Boylan led an impeachment protest against Cuomo in Manhattan on Saturday while a dueling group rallied to support the embattled governor. 

Also in March, Cuomo was pictured strolling the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion draped in a blanket with his cellphone pressed to his ear.

More allegations started to come in from accusers through April and following months.

In May, Chris Cuomo says he is ‘truly sorry’ for taking part in strategy calls advising his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo through his sex-pest scandal – adding that he compromised his colleagues at the network.

His public comment comes after he was thrown to the wolves by CNN bosses after it was revealed he’d been privately coaching his governor brother through an ongoing sex scandal. 

Cuomo said that being a journalist and a brother to a politician comes with unique challenges and a ‘responsibility to balance those roles.’

‘It’s not always easy. People can say and write what they want but I want you to know the truth. How I helped my brother also matters,’ Cuomo said.

What happens if Cuomo leaves office?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing increased calls from liberals and conservatives alike to resign amid investigations into alleged sexual harassment. Cuomo has repeatedly said he will not leave office.

If Cuomo were to resign, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would become New York’s first female governor.

Cuomo could also face impeachment if he does not resign and six Democratic socialist state senators have already issued a statement calling for impeachment proceedings against Cuomo.

If the New York State Assembly votes to impeach him by a simple majority, a trial would be held in the State Senate. 

Hochul would also take office and serve out the rest of Cuomo’s term until 2023 if state lawmakers voted to remove him from office.

He said that when his brother’s situation ‘became turbulent’ he started getting ‘looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers that did include some of his staff.’

‘I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that and I am sorry for that,’ he said.

Cuomo added that has never tried to influence CNN’s coverage of his brother and has in fact ‘been walled off from it.’

In July, Cuomo sat for a combative, 11-hour deposition in which he is questioned under oath by the two lead investigators, The New York Times reported.

Finally, James announced on Tuesday the independent investigators, former prosecutor Joon Kim and employment lawyer Anne Clark, concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women.

The women included former and current state employees, by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging, and making inappropriate comments. 

The investigation also finds Cuomo’s office fostered a ‘toxic’ workplace that enabled ‘harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.’ 

Investigators interviewed 179 people and review more than 74,000 documents, emails, texts, and pictures, James said.


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