Another one bites the dust. The dust of the Me Too movement (#MeToo), that is, which in recent years has claimed the scalps of numerous high-profile names in US society.
The biggest name, so far, to fall from grace is the third-term Democrat governor of New York who was reportedly urged last week by his longtime political ally and good friend, President Joseph Biden, to quit after being indicted by an independent investigative commission for sexually harassing several women, including his very own office staffers.
“I think he should resign,” Biden said, after being told of the damning results of the investigation.
For the uninitiated, #MeToo is a social movement in the US against sexual abuse where victims (most often women) come out in public detailing the sexual crimes suffered at the hands of the alleged perpetrators.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is the third most powerful official in the US government, likewise joined calls for Cuomo’s resignation after the commission, which was created by state Attorney General Letitia James, painted a deeply disturbing yet clear pattern of the governor’s years-long sexual deviancy.
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both party mates, described in a joint statement the allegations against Cuomo as “profoundly disturbing, inappropriate and completely unacceptable.”
Ms. James told reporters that the commission, whose probe lasted five months, concluded that Cuomo – son of the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo – had harassed 11 women “and in doing so violated federal and state law.”
Reports said that nine of the 11 women are current and former state employees.
Gov. Cuomo, for his part, issued a blanket denial of the charges, which could spell the end of his political career if they are unrefuted.
“I have never touched anyone inappropriately and made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said.
James said the committee found Cuomo to have engaged in “unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women” at the State Capitol in Albany NY.
Cuomo’s headaches started in February 2021 when former aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennette disclosed to media allegations of sexual harassment against him, which resulted in intense public pressure for an independent probe into the damaging claims.
According to an NBC News report, the probe isn’t criminal in nature, but it could lead to impeachment proceedings that Republicans are now demanding.
Ironically, Cuomo in 2019 championed a landmark state law making it easier for sexual harassment victims to prove their case in court.
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