President Joe Biden said in an interview on Tuesday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) should resign if an investigation confirms the allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment made against him.
“If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign?”ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked during a Tuesday interview.
“Yes,” Biden replied. “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”
Seven women have come forward in recent weeks alleging instances of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior from the Democratic governor who is now serving his third term.
The report of one aide who alleged Cuomo had groped her in the Executive Mansion was conveyed to the Times Union of Albany through a source, and according to the New York Times was later referred to the Albany Police Department.
The New York governor has denied much of the allegations and repeatedly insisted that he “never touched anyone inappropriately.”
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said during a press conference earlier this month where he rebuffed calls to resign. “It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”
“The facts will come out” in the attorney general’s investigation he added.
Biden told ABC News on Tuesday that women should be presumed to be telling the truth and “should not be scapegoated and become victimized” by coming forward.
“Takes a lot of courage to come forward,” he added. “So, the presumption is they should be taken seriously. And it should be investigated. And that’s what’s underway now.”
The comments are the most decisive Biden has offered yet amid the intensifying scandal that embroils Cuomo.
On Sunday, Biden said he was prepared to await the results of the investigation into the allegations when asked if the Democratic governor should resign.
“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” he told reporters at the time — stopping short of formally saying those results could be reason for resignation.
Biden’s comments come as a majority in the New York congressional delegation, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, have condemned Cuomo and otherwise suggested he should no longer hold office amid the allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Some among that group also cited a parallel scandal that Cuomo’s office had altered COVID-19 data related to nursing home resident deaths last year.
Leaders in the state Assembly on Thursday also announced an impeachment investigation, in an initial step toward potentially removing Cuomo from office. New York has only impeached a governor once, when in 1913 Gov. William Sulzer was removed from office.