AG releases interview transcripts in Cuomo harassment investigation
ALBANY, NY (AP) – The New York attorney general on Wednesday released hundreds of pages of transcripts of interviews conducted during an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations that forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down on Wednesday last summer.
The transcripts covered interviews with 10 of the women who accused Cuomo of misconduct, as well as the interview Cuomo himself gave on July 17 to independent investigators hired by Attorney General Letitia James.
During his lengthy questioning, Cuomo denied many of the allegations, said he was careful about how he behaved around women, and said several of his accusers misrepresented what happened. He also bristled at a groped allegation from an aide, Brittany Commisso, who said the Democrat had drawn her to him and grabbed her chest in the governor’s mansion.
Cuomo, 63, said it would be “not even feasible” for him to have done so, especially since he believed his conduct was constantly monitored by enemies, including one of the lawyers who was investigating. then on him, former Acting US Attorney Joon Kim.
“You investigated me for six years,” he told Kim, referring to corruption investigations conducted by federal prosecutors during Kim’s tenure, including one that sent one of Kim’s close friends. Cuomo in prison. “I would have to lose my mind to do – such a thing.” It would be an act of madness to touch a woman’s breast and make myself vulnerable to a woman for such an accusation.
âA lot of people tried to trick me,â Cuomo said. âI am always suspicious of people. I have phenomenal precautions. It would be an act of madness. “
The Albany County Sheriff’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Cuomo over Commisso’s allegation of groping late last month.
In his interview with investigators, Commisso said that although working in the governor’s office was a âdream job,â he made jokes about her appearance, called her âhoneyâ and asked her about his sex life. She said that when she wore a dress rather than pants to work, Cuomo said it was “about time you showed a leg.”
She also described the alleged assault at the governor’s mansion, saying that although she pushed Cuomo away, she feared she would be the one who would get in trouble if she slapped him or made a scene.
“I would be taken away by the state police and I would be the one who got in trouble and I would be the one who lost my job, not him,” she said.
Cuomo announced his resignation on August 10, a week after James released a report finding Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Investigators said the then governor kissed and touched several women without their consent, made inappropriate remarks about their appearance and created a work environment “fraught with fear and intimidation.”
Cuomo denied harassing one of the women, saying his behavior, while at times “too familiar”, was used against him in a political environment where “recklessness has replaced reason.”
Public dissemination of the harassment complaints began in December 2020 when Lindsey Boylan, Cuomo’s former assistant, accused the governor of sexually harassing her “for years” in a series of tweets.
Other accusers cited in the report included a state soldier assigned to Cuomo details and an energy company employee who said Cuomo ran his fingers over the lettering that ran across the chest of his shirt when they met in a rope in 2017.