The sexual misconduct controversy swirling around New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has only intensified in recent days, with a sixth female coming forth to tell her story, and now one prominent commentator is suggesting that the latest allegation rises to a new, far more serious level.
Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett argues that if Cuomo did in fact engage in the actions described by his latest accuser, what occurred would amount to a crime according to New York law, and that the Albany County district attorney needs to launch a criminal probe.
Earlier this week, the Albany Times Union reported that a former aide to the governor claims she was aggressively groped in an inappropriate manner in the Executive Mansion in late 2020 after being summoned to the residence to troubleshoot a cell phone issue.
The latest accusation against Cuomo, Jarrett asserts, is indicative of habitual harassment on the part of Cuomo, particularly in light of the series of claims that have emerged against him in recent weeks. The Fox analyst goes on to suggest that this allegation, if true, goes beyond the bounds of legality and may constitute a felony offense.
As Jarrett noted, several of Cuomo’s accusers have complained of inappropriate physical contact, sexual harassment, and nonconsensual kisses. However, if verified, this incident may be the most threatening to the governor in a legal sense, because any charge arising out of it would still be within the applicable statute of limitations in New York.
The Fox commentator underscored the fact that allegations are not in and of themselves evidence of guilt and that Cuomo deserves due process, despite attempting to deny it to others facing similar claims in the past, writing:
Cuomo called the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh presumptively true, all but calling him a rapist. By his own standard, the governor should presume himself guilty.
According to the New York Post, the Albany Police Department has received formal notification of the latest claim against the governor, and while no formal investigation has commenced, officials have contacted the alleged victim’s lawyer to offer assistance. A source inside the Albany County District Attorney’s office told the Post that unless an accuser is willing to cooperate, a prosecution would not be possible, and thus far, it no complaint has been lodged.
The political pressure on Cuomo also continues to mount, with New York Magazine reporting that the number of influential figures in his state calling for his impeachment or resignation has grown to include a host of state senators, assembly members, members of Congress and multiple New York City mayoral candidates.
With the announcement Thursday that the New York State Assembly will indeed launch an impeachment probe into these allegations of sexual misconduct as well as Cuomo’s controversial handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, it remains to be seen how much longer the embattled governor can defiantly cling to power.