A bombshell investigation report has revealed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, wrapping up a give-month probe ordered in the wake of accusations from different women.
New York's attorney general said on Tuesday that the report found that the Democrat governor groped, kissed and made suggestive comments to as many as 11 women.
Once a Rising Star
The report also says that the Governor, once a rising star in the Democratic party, created toxic workplace through his actions. The probe underscored the serious charge that Cuomo retaliated against the woman who went public for the first time with accusations of sexual transgression.
The new report has raised pressure on Cuomo to resign from the office and face probe. The launch of criminal probe against the governor will step up calls for his impeachment as he has refused to resign over the scandal.
In the wake of the new findings, President Joe Biden asked Cuomo to resign. Leading Democrats also joined the president calling for his resignation.
Cuomo Refuses to Resign
However, Cuomo stood his ground and refused to step down. "The facts are much different than what has been portrayed," Cuomo said in a video statement released after state Attorney General Letitia James published the report against him.
"I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances ... I am 63 years old. I've lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am. And that's not who I have ever been," Cuomo added in the video statement.
Biden Asks Cuomo to Resign
But President Biden disagreed when he met reporters on Tuesday. "I think he should resign," the president said, suggesting that the top ranks in the Democratic party have disowned the governor, who was once even seen as a future presidential candidate.
"I'm sure there are some embraces that were totally innocent. But apparently the attorney general decided there were things that weren't," Biden added.
The attorney general said the investigators spoke to as many as 179 people to prepare the report, which revealed a "climate of fear" in the governor's office.
"What this investigation revealed was a disturbing pattern of conduct by the governor of the great state of New York ... These 11 women were in a hostile and toxic work environment," said AG James's report.
In a harsh blow to Cuomo, the investigators shot down his defense that he was just expressing the 'affectionate Italian-American culture' that he represented. The report said there was no credibility in his blanket denials and lack of recollection as to specific incidents.
"What these witnesses - and many others - described is not just old-fashioned, affectionate behavior - it was sexual harassment," the report said.
In March, the state legislature said it would open an impeachment investigation into the allegations after more than 55 Democratic New York state lawmakers urged him to step down.