The top Democrat in the New York state Senate said Wednesday that disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo should spend his sudden free time “in introspection” after he tried to play the victim in an email to supporters earlier this week.
Cuomo, 63, looked at home on the water Wednesday, as he triumphantly displayed a false albacore to his Instagram followers as his Siberian husky mix Captain eyed the fish hungrily.
“Captain’s first albie,” Cuomo captioned the post, adding that “these little guys put up a good fight” and including the hashtag “#newyorktough”.
But behind the social media image, Cuomo has apparently been stewing over the circumstances of his departure from the Executive Mansion this past August — as evidenced by the Monday morning email from his campaign account warning his few remaining supporters that New York was “in a dangerous moment.”
The former governor also refused to accept the findings of the bombshell report issued by state Attorney General Letitia James, which found he had sexually harassed 11 women — including nine current or former state government employees — in violation of state and federal law.
Cuomo described the report as “false” and argued its conclusion was “politically and personally motivated … rather than having been subjected to an honest review, the report was litigated through the lens of the political theatre of Albany.”
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Yonkers) took a dim view of Cuomo’s claims Wednesday night.
“I’m sorry that he’s doing this,” she told Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight”. “I understand that he has a lot of time on his hands, but I was hoping that that time would be spent in introspection, frankly.”
Stewart-Cousins went on to compare Cuomo’s criticism of New York government to those made by former President Donald Trump and added: “I don’t know what the danger is.”
“I do believe that New York is in a good place, that we are focused on governing and that for him, I think it would be beneficial if he were going to keep his comments in a more positive light,” she said. “And again, I think it’s important that he spend some time looking at what happened, looking at the fact that once again, we have an attorney general that substantiated the claims of 11 — that wasn’t all of the people who came forward, but there were 11 people whose claims were substantiated.”
On the same day that Cuomo sent his self-pitying email, New York Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs revealed that he had called Cuomo as a “courtesy” before endorsing his successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, to be elected to a full term next year. Jacobs’ admission drew the ire of lawmakers and Cuomo accusers, one of whom called for Hochul to oust the party chair from his post at once.
Meanwhile, Cuomo’s legal troubles are not yet over. The Assembly is due to release its report on the impeachment probe into the former governor later this month. The report is expected to shed light on not only the sexual harassment allegations, but the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and the controversial book deal for the governor’s now-infamous pandemic memoir “American Crisis”.
Both matters are under investigation by James’ office, as well as the FBI and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s office.