Pressure on sexual harassment allegations against New York Prime Minister Andrew Cuomo reached the White House on Tuesday, and President Joe Biden said Cuomo should resign if the Attorney General’s investigation confirms the allegations against him.
In an interview with ABC News scheduled for Wednesday morning, Biden said “yes” to the question of anchor George Stephanopoulos whether Cuomo would leave if the investigation confirms the women’s allegations, adding: “I think he would probably stop being prosecuted as well.”
“It takes a lot of courage to come forward so the assumption is that it should be taken seriously,” said Biden. “And it should be investigated, and that’s what’s going on now.”
Cuomo faces charges that he sexually harassed or misbehaved with several women, including several former staff.
Former employees have accused Cuomo of harassment in the workplace, including humiliating them with pet nicknames or making objectifying comments about their appearance, exposing them to unwanted kisses and touches or asking them about their sex lives.
Cuomo is also facing charges of groping a female employee under her shirt after calling her to the governor’s mansion in Albany late last year. He has denied that he touched any women in an inappropriate way.
The three-year-old governor has rejected demands for his resignation from other Democrats, including New York’s two U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and has asked New Yorkers to wait for the results of an investigation led by Attorney General Letitia James.
James last week appointed former federal prosecutor Joon Kim and lawyer Anne Clark for employment discrimination to lead the Cuomo investigation. They have full mood and will document their results in a public report.
One of his prosecutors met with investigators for more than four hours on Monday.
The investigation into sexual harassment is a supplement to the review that Cuomo is facing from federal prosecutors who are investigating how his administration handled information about COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes.
Biden herself faced an allegation of sexual abuse by a former employee, Tara Reade, who said he groped and kissed her in the basement of an office building in the Capitol in 1993. Biden has denied her allegations and several current and former Biden employees have said that they do not remember any such meeting.