The governor’s personal attorney spoke via video stream on Friday, fixated on perceived “fairness issues” in the report from Attorney General Letitia James’ office that outlined the harassment claims lodged against Cuomo, who is slated to leave office Tuesday. James’ office responded to the attacks from Cuomo’s team by calling them “lies and conspiracy theories.”
Outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s personal attorney on Friday again criticized the state attorney general’s investigation into claims that the governor sexually harassed multiple women—a signal that Cuomo, who will leave office on Aug. 24, might not be exiting quietly.
Lawyer Rita Glavin, who spoke via video stream on Friday, fixated on perceived “fairness issues” in the report, which detailed allegations of groping and sexual harassment against the governor lodged by 11 women, some of them staffers and state employees.
Glavin added that she was sending letters to Attorney General Letitia James’ office to urge investigators to “correct” their findings and include additional information she claims was intentionally left out of the 168-page document, released on Aug. 3. Cuomo announced his resignation a week later, denying the most egregious claims of assault against him but apologizing to the women he “offended.”
“The report has to include evidence that was favorable to the governor that the investigators were told about,” said Glavin, a former federal prosecutor.
In a Friday afternoon statement, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office defended the investigation, calling it “exhaustive, thorough, and without outside influence, period.”
“Given the multiple, ongoing criminal investigations into the governor’s conduct, it would not be appropriate to respond further to these baseless attacks,” said Delaney Kemper, the spokesperson. “The 168-page report and additional 486 pages of exhibits clearly corroborate the experiences of the complainants, yet the governor and his aides continue to undermine those who seek to expose this dangerous conduct.”
“We cannot allow survivors of sexual harassment to be further traumatized by these continued attacks, lies, and conspiracy theories,” Kemper added.
Over the course of the 24-minute stream earlier Friday afternoon, Glavin, armed with a detail-rich slideshow, again attacked select parts of the AG’s report, refuting specific allegations that the governor inappropriately touched some of the women named in the document. She did not take questions.
“To the extent that the New York State Assembly or any other government entity will be relying on that Aug. 3 report to make decisions, to make findings, it is incumbent upon the chief legal officer of our state to make corrections, include material omissions and supplement the record with information that bears directly on a number of the findings that were included in that report,” she said.
Glavin will also send a letter to the state assembly judiciary committee within the next week, she said. Cuomo’s resignation announcement effectively halted the lawmaking body’s months-long impeachment probe, which also focused on the state’s alleged undercount of nursing home deaths and whether Cuomo used state resources to write and publish his memoir. A report of the committee’s findings is expected soon.
The assembly inquiry “could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned,” Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, said in a statement last Friday. The lawmakers will share their findings with various “investigatory authorities” that are also probing allegations made against the governor, Heastie added.
Friday marked Glavin’s third appearance on Cuomo’s behalf in recent weeks: Earlier in the month, she appeared with attorney Paul Fishman, who is representing executive chamber employees, to first criticize James’ independent investigation into the sexual harassment claims.
Last week, she again attacked the investigation in remarks made just before the governor announced he was resigning later in the month.
“One thing that hasn’t changed since Aug. 3, or since I last spoke publicly about this, is that I still haven’t been given access to the evidence,” Glavin said, repeating a criticism of the report’s rollout she made earlier in the month.
It’s unclear what’s in the Cuomo political playbook now—though the governor is leaving office, it appears he may be leaving the door open for a later run. Earlier on Friday, ahead of Glavin’s announcement, longtime Cuomo Spokesperson Rich Azzopardi criticized the AG’s report in an op-ed for the New York Daily News, claiming the governor was railroaded by James, a potential rival for governor in 2022.
A number of Democratic state lawmakers on Friday slammed the Cuomo team’s latest offensive.
“Apparently this knucklehead can’t help himself even as the door hits his a– on the way out. He’s classy RIGHT to the end,” State Sen. Gustavo Rivera said on Twitter.
“Tune in now to Rita Glavin’s weekly attempt to undermine survivors,” posted State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who represents the Bronx and Westchester, shortly after Glavin’s video press conference began. The attorney general’s investigation on the governor, Biaggi added, was “comprehensive, thorough, and corroborated.”
“What you are listening to, is the beginning of [Cuomo’s] image rehabilitation tour, which we will likely hear about for the next several months,” the lawmaker tweeted.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will replace Cuomo after he leaves office on Aug. 24. The Buffalo native, who served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming lieutenant governor, has said she was not previously aware of the behavior revealed in the AG report.
Read more on this:
- State Assembly to Suspend Cuomo Impeachment Inquiry Following Governor’s Resignation
- Future Gov. Kathy Hochul Pledges New Direction After Cuomo Resigns: ‘I’m Ready’
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Resign Following Sexual Harassment Allegations
- ‘A Culture of Fear and Flirtation’: Andrew Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, A.G. Investigation Finds