Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has faced multiple scandals over the past year, though efforts to remove him from office have thus far proved unsuccessful.
Reports this week, however, indicate top investigators working for state Attorney General Letitia James planned to formally interview Cuomo on Saturday regarding allegations of sexual harassment from multiple former and current female staffers.
“Transparent political motivation”
The request comes as the same investigators reportedly wrapped up separate interviews with the governor’s accusers and other senior Cuomo staffers.
Citing two anonymous sources, The New York Times first reported the latest development, suggesting that the four-month-long investigation into allegations against the governor could be nearing a conclusion with a public report expected to follow.
Top Cuomo aide Richard Azzopardi issued a statement that neither confirmed nor denied reports of an interview but did take a shot at the attorney general with the apparent mission of discrediting the probe.
“We have said repeatedly that the governor doesn’t want to comment on this review until he has cooperated,” Azzopardi said, adding that “the continued leaks are more evidence of the transparent political motivation of the attorney general’s review.”
For her part, James is said to also be probing allegations that Cuomo misused state resources in the promotion of his latest book. Some Democrats are urging her to launch her own gubernatorial bid, which would place her in a primary battle against Cuomo as he is expected to run for re-election.
“Further political self-interest”
According to the Associated Press, two of its own unnamed sources confirmed that the interview was set to take place on Saturday.
Cuomo initially vowed to “fully cooperate” with the probe and even seemed apologetic for his alleged misbehavior, but he has subsequently grown more defiant, insisting that he had done nothing wrong.
Azzopardi has previously questioned the credibility of the probe against Cuomo, calling James “unethical” in an April statement that described her investigation into the governor as a tool to “further political self-interest.”
As Cuomo reportedly prepares to testify in response to the allegations against him, the Democratic-controlled state Assembly is still pursuing a possible impeachment effort.
Other serious allegations against him include deliberately undercounting and covering up the COVID-19 death toll in New York’s nursing homes as well as creating an abusive work environment for his staff.