CNN on Tuesday announced that anchor Chris Cuomo has been suspended indefinitely from the network after the New York Attorney General’s office released documents that raised “serious questions” about his involvement in the defense of his brother, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
“The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense,” a statement CNN released on Tuesday evening said. “The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”
The network said that the CNN anchor’s offering of advice to his brother’s staff broke the network’s rules. CNN said that it “acknowledged that publicly.”
“But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second,” CNN said.
However, CNN noted that the NY attorney general’s documents “point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew.”
“As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” CNN said.
After reports emerged earlier this year that the CNN anchor gave advice to his embattled brother on how to handle the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him from current and former aides, the network denied that Chris Cuomo had been involved in its extensive coverage of the then-New York governor on air or behind the scenes.
“In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother,” CNN said in a statement in May. “However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges. He will not participate in such conversations going forward.”
Chris Cuomo apologized for the assistance he offered to his brother.
“It will not happen again. It was a mistake, because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot,”Chris Cuomo said on his show in May. “I never intended for that I would never intend for that and I am sorry for that.”
Amid his brother facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, reports emerged earlier this year that Chris Cuomo repeatedly offered advice to his brother’s inner circle in a serious of emails and text messages.
“Please let me help with the prep,” Chris Cuomo reportedly texted a senior aide to his brother last March.
Additionally, the CNN anchor made efforts to track down news coverage of the allegations waged against his brother. The documents released by the NY attorney general’s office included text messages between Chris Cuomo and former top aide to Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, that suggested that the CNN anchor assisted in crafting a defense and used his connections in media to do so.