New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) took one last stab at defending his reputation in a farewell address aired Monday, his final day in office, attacking the New York State Attorney General’s investigation into sexual harassment and his subsequent political downfall as “unfair” and “unjust.”
Cuomo, who has maintained his innocence against allegations he made inappropriate sexual advances toward multiple women, slammed the state investigation that detailed these claims as a politicized effort.
“The attorney general’s report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic, and it worked,” Cuomo said during the televised address.
He claimed that the report’s findings were exacerbated by “political pressure” and a “media frenzy” that caused a “rush to judgement,” and vowed that “the truth” will be revealed.
Cuomo also reflected briefly on his time as governor, and praised his successor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who he said “will step up to the challenge,” as well as Democratic mayoral primary winner Eric Adams, who he deemed “the next mayor of New York City.”
Hochul will be sworn into office at 12:01 a.m., becoming the first woman to serve as New York’s governor.
“There will be another time to talk about the truth and ethics of the situation with me,” Cuomo said after spending a few minutes discussing the attorney general’s report. “The truth is ultimately always revealed.”
Cuomo resigned after a months-long investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s office found he sexually harassed 11 women, including current and former state employees. The governor repeatedly denied allegations of sexual touching and inappropriate advances, but announced in mid-August he would step down to avoid “months of political and legal controversy.” He is still the subject of an impeachment inquiry by the New York State Assembly, as well as multiple ongoing state and federal investigations.
What To Watch For
What Cuomo will do after leaving office. His top aide, Melissa DeRosa, said on Monday the governor is “exploring a number of options, but has no interest in running for office again.” As reported by The New York Times, Cuomo still has a massive $18 million campaign war chest, more than any other politician in the state and a sum that could finance a potential comeback.