August 1, 2021

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Biden says Cuomo should resign and could face prosecution if sexual harassment claims true – NBC News

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President Joe Biden said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign if the sexual harassment claims recently made by several women against the Democrat are confirmed by a probe led by the state’s attorney general.

Biden was asked about the allegations against Cuomo by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in a portion of an interview released Tuesday.

“Yes,” Biden said when asked if Cuomo should resign if the investigation confirms allegations of several women who have come forward. “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”

The full interview is set to air on Wednesday.

Several women have accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, prompting calls for him to resign. Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately, but he has acknowledged that he acted in ways that made people feel uncomfortable. He said that was unintentional and apologized.

The comments are Biden’s strongest to date after saying earlier this week that there should be a wait and see approach to what the investigation reveals. His comments also come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined to call on Cuomo’s resignation even as dozens of top Democrats, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — both of New York — have called for his ouster.

Speaking with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Pelosi called the charges “credible and serious,” adding she has confidence in the investigation led by New York Attorney General Letitia James into the allegations.

A defiant Cuomo told reporters last week in a phone briefing before the Schumer and Gillibrand statement that he won’t bow “to cancel culture” and isn’t going anywhere.

“I am not going to resign,” he said, adding that lawmakers won’t know the facts until James’ investigation is concluded.

A group of nearly 60 state lawmakers demanded Cuomo’s resignation and state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation into the allegations against his fellow Democrat.

Biden said in his ABC News interview that “a woman should be presumed telling the truth and should not be scapegoated and become victimized by her coming forward.”

He added, “Takes a lot of courage to come forward. So, the presumption is they should be taken seriously. But there should be an investigation to determine whether what she says is true. And that’s what’s underway now.”

James has appointed two lawyers, one of them a former acting U.S. attorney, to lead that investigation.

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