US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign, the most powerful Democratic voice so far to pressure the latter to quit amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Schumer, who represents the state of New York in the Senate, said in a statement issued jointly on Friday with fellow Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that they believed it would be difficult for Cuomo, also a Democrat, to continue to hold on to power given the controversies, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership,” the two Senators said.
“We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct.
“Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign,” they added.
The statementdealt what seemed to be another detrimental blow to Cuomo, as he faced a new wave of calls to step down when House Democrats representing New York, including Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, joined the growing chorus Friday demanding the three-term Governor’s departure.
“The repeated accusations against the governor, and the manner in which he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point,” said Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Cuomo, who has adamantly denied any wrongdoing and urged people to hold their judgement until the ongoing independent investigation is completed, again refused to resign, telling reporters Friday in a phone call: “I did not do what has been alleged. Period.”
“People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth.”
Allegations of sexual harassment or sexually inappropriate behaviour against Cuomo reached a boiling point on Wednesday when reports emerged that the sixth accuser, an anonymous current aide to Cuomo, alleged that the Governor groped her last year.
On Thursday, 59 Democratic lawmakers in the state’s legislature, or about 40 per cent of the party’s members in the New York Assembly and Senate, signed a statement requesting that Cuomo relinquish power.
The state Assembly on Thursday greenlighted an impeachment investigation into Cuomo to determine whether his conducts warrant a forcible removal from office.
Those calling for Cuomo’s resignation also pointed to efforts to fake the state’s Covid-19 death toll by the Governor, who was once hailed as a hero in the fight against the pandemic when New York was the epicenter during the early stages of the virus’s spread.
“A lot of people allege a lot of things for a lot of reasons,” Cuomo, who is seeking a fourth term in the 2022 mid-term elections, said on Friday.
“I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives. But I can tell you as a former attorney general who has gone through this situation many times, there are often many motivations for making an allegation. And that is why you need to know the facts before you make a decision.”