New York Attorney General Letitia James went on the offensive Wednesday for the first time since former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned due to an explosive report from James's office.
James, widely believed to be a 2022 gubernatorial hopeful, said that while she had “chosen to take the high road” in the weeks following Cuomo's Aug. 24 resignation, “that changes today” — laying into the former governor for deflecting blame on James's report.
“Mr. Cuomo has a lot to say on these matters, but he has never taken responsibility for his own conduct. He has never held himself accountable for how his behavior affected our state government,” James said during a Wednesday breakfast. “So, let’s not lose sight of what’s important. It’s not me. It’s not Mr. Cuomo but the survivors of his harassment, the people of our state whose trust he broke, and the people who believed in him, including myself. No one is above the law, and our state can do better moving forward.”
CHRIS CUOMO ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY HARASSING BOSS IN 2005
While James painted previous investigations by Cuomo when he was attorney general as unfavorable compared to hers, she emphasized Cuomo's alleged victims "deserve to be at the forefront of our concern."
“The report lays out in painful detail the treatment that these women were subjected to and the various laws and rules Mr. Cuomo and his administration broke,” James said of the 11 women cited in her Aug. 3 report.
Following her remarks, Cuomo called on the attorney general to answer 10 questions about her report, alleging she "pad[ded] the numbers in her report" and only placed 41 people under oath out of 179 interviewed as part of the investigation.
"It should raise serious red flags that the AG and her staff duck every time specific questions about omissions and inaccuracies in the AG's report are raised," Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo's spokesman, said. "The public deserves specific answers from the AG as to the credibility of her report - especially while she mulls a run for Governor."
In his final speech as governor, Cuomo, who denied all claims of inappropriate touching, said the 165-page report that corroborated the sexual harassment claims was "a political firecracker on an explosive topic," insinuating James wanted to oust him from office to bolster her political prospects in next year's gubernatorial race.
Following a monthslong investigation, James released a bombshell report on Aug. 3 concluding Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and that he and his office retaliated against at least one of his accusers.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Cuomo resigned on Aug. 24 amid mounting political pressure. However, he has repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing, blasting the outcome as "politics" in his most recent public remarks.
"This was politics. Every step of the way," Cuomo tweeted on Sept. 22 alongside a link to an op-ed arguing the former governor's ousting "disenfranchised NY voters."