President Joe Biden gestures during a remark on the implementation of the American rescue plan on March 15, 2021 in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden said in a new interview that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign if an investigation confirms allegations made by several women that Cuomo sexually molested them.
And if those claims are confirmed, Biden said, “I think he’ll likely face criminal prosecution as well.”
“There should be an investigation to see if what she’s saying is true,” Biden said said George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in the interview held Tuesday in Darby, Pennsylvania.
“That’s what’s going on now.”
“There could be criminal prosecution associated with it. I just don’t know,” Biden said.
New York attorney general Letitia James oversees an investigation into the claims conducted by a team of lawyers in private practice.
On Monday, investigators spoke for four hours with former Cuomo advisor Charlotte Bennett, 25, who said the 63-year-old governor was looking for a sexual relationship last year when he asked about her love life and whether she was with an older woman was together man. Investigators are also investigating claims by six other women.
Like Biden, Cuomo is a democrat.
“I want to ask you about Governor Cuomo of New York,” said Stephanopoulos. “I know you said you wanted the investigation to continue. If the investigation confirms the women’s claims, should he step down?”
Biden replied, “Yes.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo touches his nose during a visit to a new Covid-19 vaccination site on Monday, March 15, 2021, at New York State University at Old Westbury.
Mark Lennihan | AFP | Getty Images
The three-time governor has denied inappropriate behavior towards women and has repeatedly refused to resign.
A majority of the Democratic Congress delegation in New York and more than 55 Democrats in the state parliament have called for Cuomo’s resignation under the allegations.
The state’s US Senators, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, were the most prominent Democrats last week to call on Cuomo to step down.
“Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, the majority of the Congress delegation do not believe that he can be an effective governor at the moment,” asked Stephanopoulos Biden. “Can he serve effectively?”
Biden replied, “Well, that’s a judgment for you to make.”
The president also said in the interview that “a woman should be assumed to be telling the truth and not become a scapegoat and victim for coming forward.”
“It takes a lot of courage to come forward,” said Biden. “So the guess is that they should be taken seriously. And it should be investigated. And that is exactly what is happening now.”
Congregation Democratic Speaker Carl Heastie last week authorized the Chamber’s Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment investigation against Cuomo.
This move has reportedly been viewed as a delaying tactic by some members of the Democratic Caucus, but has been endorsed by other members who want to give James time to complete their office’s investigation.
The New York Times published a report on Tuesday Details of current Cuomo employees’ efforts to get former employees to sign an open letter attacking the credibility of ex-employee Lindsey Boylan after she accused the governor of sexual harassment on Twitter posts in December . This letter was never published publicly.
Describing her allegations against Cuomo in a Medium post last month, Boylan said he kissed her once without her consent and jokingly suggested playing strip poker on an official flight.
Boylan’s article was soon followed by Bennett’s public allegations and other women alleging inappropriate physical contact and comments from Cuomo. The governor is also accused of creating a culture of bullying and fear in his office.
A claim by a current Cuomo employee who reportedly said the governor fondled her aggressively at his official residence after calling her there was referred to police in Albany, New York last week.