After yesterday’s bombshell report from AG Letitia James, Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have a lot of friends and supporters left. As Ed pointed out this morning, a majority of New York Democrats want him to resign and a plurality believe he violated the law.
If you know anything about New York politics then you won’t be surprised that Mayor de Blasio seems to really enjoying this moment. This morning he appeared on two different networks to call for Cuomo’s immediate resignation.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe show he said, “Joe, look what these women went through. They were put through hell by a very powerful man,” de Blasio said. He continued, “He created a culture where he thought he could treat these women any way he wanted and that no one would ever stop him…And that’s the atmosphere he created consistently throughout his career.”
Mayor de Blasio then brought up the other scandals that are still surrounding Cuomo, including the nursing home scandal, his vaccine favoritism and allegations that his staff helped write his book. “It’s over, Joe. He has to leave. There’s nowhere for him to turn,” de Blasio said.
Next he was asked if he could really envision Cuomo leaving office of his own accord. Mayor de Blasio said he would probably be forced to either because he is prosecuted or to avoid an imminent impeachment. “When it gets to the ultimate moment he will find some honor in pulling the plug himself but he really should be doing it today out of respect for the 11 women he wronged and all the families out there from the nursing homes who lost their loved ones. He should just have the decency to do one thing, one thing where he thinks about other people rather than himself,” de Blasio said. Here’s the full interview:
But that wasn’t all. The mayor also appeared on CBS This Morning where he was asked essentially the same questions. This time de Blasio called the governor’s response “out of touch with reality” and “profoundly disrespectful.”
When co-host Gayle King pointed out that Cuomo claims he didn’t do anything wrong and that his behavior is just about a generational divide, de Blasio replied, “Putting your hand up a woman’s shirt and touching their breast is not generational.” He added, “Talking to 20-something-year-old women, asking them if they’d date an older guy and then leering at them. This is not acceptable behavior.”
As on MSNBC, de Blasio was asked what should happen if Cuomo won’t resign. He again brought up the possibility of impeachment and prosecution. Asked if Cuomo should be criminally charged, de Blasio said, “Yeah, if you assault a woman, you do something against her will sexually, that’s criminal.”
The mayor may be enjoying this a bit too much for personal reasons but he right about what’s likely to happen. The Albany DA said yesterday that after watching AG James presentation he was opening an investigation which could result in criminal charges against Cuomo.
“These cases are made with cooperation from our victims,” the DA said. “For any victim that’s out there, who’s watching this transmission, please reach out to our office and we will conduct our investigation as discreetly as possible.”…
Albany Police Department spokesman Steve Smith told The Post there is “no active investigation” against the governor, and noted that police cannot initiate a case without a “credible victim” requesting further action.
So assuming Cuomo doesn’t resign, the women who made the allegations have an open door from the Albany DA to consider charges. As I mentioned yesterday, Cuomo is now saying that the AG report was biased and that people should wait for the results from a jury before making up their minds. People may indeed get that chance whether or not Cuomo decides to resign.
At this point, I don’t see how he can survive. He told people to wait for the AG report and that seemed to work. But now the report is out and it’s devastating for him. People seem to have already made up their minds about him so what is he waiting for exactly? Does he think people will forget and give him a pass if he just waits for the news cycle to move on? Maybe that’s what he’s betting on. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that sort of thing can work for Cuomo the way it once did for Bill Clinton.