Mr. Cuomo continues to deny that he did anything wrong, suggesting that all the women who have come forward somehow misinterpreted his touching and physicality in the same way. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view,” he said in a recorded video released shortly after the report came out. “That is just not who I am.” He failed to note that many of the allegations against him involve conduct that happened not in public but behind closed doors, in elevators or over the phone.
Most people would object to the behaviors detailed here, but the fact that it was coming from the most powerful person in New York State, often toward direct subordinates, makes it all the more disturbing. Anne Clark, one of the investigators, said at a news conference that in one case, a state trooper told them that while she and Mr. Cuomo shared an elevator, he “ran his finger from her neck down her spine and said, ‘Hey, you’” and that, in a separate incident, “she was standing holding the door open for the governor. As he passed, he took his open hand and ran it across her stomach from her belly button to the hip where she keeps her gun. She told us that she felt completely violated to have the governor touch her, as she put it, ‘between her chest and her privates.’”
The stories get worse, and the women who came forward to share them, even in the face of threats of retaliation, as detailed in the report, should be commended for their bravery.
The calls for Mr. Cuomo to step down only grew louder on Tuesday. Top Democrats, including President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, added their names to the expanding list of those who have come to see that it is untenable for Mr. Cuomo — among the nation’s highest-profile and most powerful governors — to remain in office.
Mr. Cuomo has always had a self-serving streak and been known for his political bullying. He also has used those traits to be an effective politician and, in many of his achievements as governor, won the public’s trust. What this report lays out, however, are credible accusations that can’t be looked past. As Ms. James said on Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo’s alleged conduct “corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”