After investigating multiple complaints against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment and the facilitation of a toxic workplace, the Attorney General of New York Letitia James announced Tuesday “deeply disturbing” findings, confirming the allegations. In her statement, Ms. James stated several times that the governor’s conduct also violated state and federal laws.
Mr. Cuomo’s response to the scathing report was to tape a statement mansplaining to New York and the country that all his accusers are liars, naïve or confused women. Listening to Cuomo the Brute is a lesson in smug arrogance that is shocking. “They heard things I didn’t say,” he declared. He’s been protected for so long he has no grasp of responsibility and shame. He’s whining about the complaints and media coverage. He then arrogantly blamed “generational” and “cultural” communication issues.
After a massive five-month investigation involving interviewing 179 people, including an 11-hour interview with Mr. Cuomo, and 79,000 pieces of evidence, the independent investigators came to a different conclusion. The 165-page report is a blistering condemnation stating, among other things, Mr. Cuomo had created a “hostile work environment … rife with fear and intimidation.”
The “cultural issue” of which he speaks may be about his Italian heritage, implying that Italian men can’t keep their hands to themselves. When hearing this while on Fox News, constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley noted, “I’m Italian, and we don’t have any problem distinguishing between tactile and criminal conduct.”
This is a man who, according to the report, had a state worker sit on his lap during a meeting, inappropriately touched a state trooper, and allegedly sexually assaulted a woman by shoving his hands up her blouse to grope her breasts. The investigators found his behavior wasn’t just ethics violations but violations of state and federal law.
Mr. Cuomo’s attorneys released an 85-page response to the attorney’s general’s report, with several pages consisting of photographs of the governor kissing and embracing celebrities and others at public events. He also displayed those photos in his taped response, kissing people such as Robert De Niro, congressional members, celebrities and politicians.
I very much doubt he asked Mr. De Niro to sit on his lap, nor do I think he slipped his hands under Mr. De Niro’s shirt to cop a feel. We certainly know Mr. De Niro’s career does not rely on the whims of Cuomo the Brute.
Mr. Cuomo’s argument is juvenile and typical: What he does, he does to everyone, he explains. Mr. Cuomo is an attorney, and while a thug, he knows full well that touching and kissing everyone outside your office is not an excuse to touch and kiss subordinates in your office.
Despite the report stating there were violations of state and federal law, Ms. James announced the matter was “closed,” commenting the victims could pursue civil cases. Ironically, if the accusers do pursue that avenue, it is likely Mr. Cuomo will enjoy legal representation paid for by the people of New York and has many resources to make the lives of these women even more uncomfortable.
Moreover, this report doesn’t constitute a formal legal finding of guilt. It is not an indictment, but many believe the findings of her own investigators would at least compel Ms. James’ office to establish a formal criminal investigation.
In the midst of Mr. Cuomo’s patronizing finger-pointing, self-pity and complaints about how hard this has been on his family, he also had the gall to say in his taped statement that the complaints made by the victims are an insult to women who’ve actually been sexually harassed.
Make no mistake; this is another effort to intimidate and frighten the people who have dared to have the courage to look that smug brute in the face and speak the truth.
The report, released publicly, details the behavior of a man who’s gotten away with everything for a very long time. Mr. Cuomo clearly still expects to get away with everything. His strategy is to frighten and intimidate people. That is the specialty of abusers everywhere; it is the tactic of all bullies, thugs and brutes.
There had been a federal investigation underway examining Mr. Cuomo’s obscene nursing home policy placing COVID-19-infected patients into nursing homes and the deaths of 15,000 people linked to that policy. Last week, the Biden Justice Department announced it was dropping that investigation.
The state of New York is investigating several issues related to the possible impeachment of Mr. Cuomo, including the nursing home mass death, ethics violations involving his COVID-19 book deal, preferential COVID-19 testing for his family and friends, and the sexual harassment allegations.
This catastrophe reminds us that brutes and grifters in public service aren’t just an embarrassment; they’re dangerous. Their contempt for the people manifesting through a malignant narcissist worldview informs everything they do. With Mr. Cuomo, you see a spectrum of corrupt behavior and decision-making, destroying not just the personal and emotional safety of people in his sphere but also translating into policy that costs lives.
• Tammy Bruce, the author, host at Fox Nation, and contributor at Fox News, is a radio talk-show host.