House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are “credible.”
The California representative joined a chorus of Democrats calling for a truly independent probe into the accusations of misconduct lodged against Cuomo by two of his former staffers.
“The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and to be treated with dignity,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“The independent investigation must have due process and respect for everyone involved.”
The statement came as Cuomo, 63, agreed to let state Attorney General Letitia James appoint an outside investigator into the growing scandal.
His senior adviser Beth Garvey originally said Saturday night that the administration had tapped former federal Judge Barbara Jones to head up an inquiry.
The move quickly drew bipartisan criticism, however, both because Cuomo was trying to dictate his own investigation, and because Jones previously worked with lawyer and key Cuomo advisor Steve Cohen.
As backlash mounted Sunday morning, James requested that the Cuomo administration let her office appoint an independent investigator, as state law prescribes.
The concession from Cuomo came after several New York lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens), had stressed the importance of an unbiased investigation.
“Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett’s detailed accounts of sexual harassment by Gov. Cuomo are extremely serious and painful to read,” wrote AOC. “There must be an independent investigation — not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) — who led the charge resulting in former Sen. Al Franken’s resignation over sexual misconduct claims — had also been among those calling for an independent probe.
“These allegations are serious and deeply concerning,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “As requested by Attorney General James, the matter should be referred to her office so that she can conduct a transparent, independent and thorough investigation with subpoena power.”
Gillibrand In 2017, Gillibrand, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, quickly issued a full-throated condemnation of her colleague Franken as he faced mounting allegations from several women.
“Enough is enough,” she said at the time.
Additional reporting by Mark Moore