TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy joined several other northeastern governors, all Democrats, in calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday.
“We are appalled at the findings of the independent investigation by the New York Attorney General. Governor Cuomo should resign from office.”
Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Dan McKee of Rhode Island and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania all released the joint statement with Murphy.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced mounting pressure Tuesday to resign, including from President Joe Biden and other onetime Democratic allies, after an investigation found he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers.
“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters Tuesday, echoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York’s U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, all Democrats.
The leader of the state Assembly, which has the power to bring impeachment charges, said it was clear Cuomo could no longer remain in office. Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, said he would move to complete an impeachment inquiry “as quickly as possible.”
Cuomo remained defiant, saying in a taped response to the findings that “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed” and that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
In a telephone conversation with Heastie, Cuomo insisted he wouldn’t leave office and told the speaker he needed to work fellow Democrats and garner enough votes to stop an impeachment, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
But Heastie said he couldn’t do that, said the person, who could not publicly discuss details of the private conversation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The nearly five-month, non-criminal investigation, overseen by New York’s attorney general and led by two outside lawyers, concluded that 11 women from within and outside state government were telling the truth when they said Cuomo had touched them inappropriately, commented on their appearance or made suggestive comments about their sex lives.
Those accusers included an aide who said Cuomo groped her breast at the governor’s mansion, and a state trooper on his security detail who said he ran his hand or fingers across her stomach and her back.
Gov. Murphy and all the other governors who signed on to the statement worked heavily in concert with Cuomo throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.