Democrats in NY Assembly hold emergency meeting following bombshell Cuomo report from AG
Democrats in the New York Assembly, who control the ability to impeach Gov. Andrew Cuomo, held an emergency meeting following the bombshell findings by the state Attorney General's Office that the governor sexually harassed multiple women.
The meeting came hours after Attorney General Letitia James unveiled the findings of a monthslong investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. It found the governor sexually harassed at least 11 women including unwanted groping, kissing, and inappropriate comments.
"Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of federal and state laws," said James.
Assembly Democrats met for more than two hours. The consensus was that the governor has lost the confidence of his party.
Now, lawmakers with the power to impeach the governor say they are planning to wrap up their investigation quickly.
Officials say those on the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which would bring forward articles of impeachment, are waiting on final documents from the Attorney General's Office.
Lawmakers want to make sure their impeachment case against the governor is airtight before a full Assembly vote.
"If that is the position that the full Assembly will take then it has to be extremely thorough, all the i's have to be dotted and the t's crossed because it will be a trial," says Assemblyman Chris Burdick.
News 12 is told that many lawmakers are still holding out hope Cuomo will step down instead of putting the women and the state through an impeachment hearing.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie released the following statement: "After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General's report concerning sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo, it is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office. Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible."
It's unclear how quickly that inquiry could wrap up, but the Assembly Judiciary Committee next meets on Monday.
Among Cuomo's accusers is former staffer Charlotte Bennett, of Katonah, who says the governor asked her about her sex and dating life, telling her he was lonely and wanted to be touched, and probed her about her previous experience with sexual assault.
"Ms. Bennett texted to a friend on the day many of these comments were made that she was upset, confused and that she was shaking," said independent investigator Anne Clark.
Cuomo apologized directly to Bennett but said she misinterpreted their conversation.
"I've heard Charlotte and her lawyer, and I understand what they are saying but they read into comments that I made and draw inferences that I never meant," said Cuomo.
Bennett responded exclusively on CBS Evening News with Nora O'Donnell.
"He sexually harassed me. I am not confused. It is not confusing. I am living in reality and it's sad to see that he's not," said Bennett.