Andrew Cuomo and his team have been fighting Attorney General Letitia James before her damning sexual-harassment report on the former governor dropped in August, saying it was politically motivated and that Cuomo was innocent. In his final address as governor, Cuomo said the report was “designed to be a political firecracker” and that it was successful. Last month, James made her first public comments on the topic, defending the investigation and saying “he has never taken responsibility for his own conduct.”
The back-and-forth continued on Wednesday when Rita Glavin, the lawyer representing Cuomo, announced they would be submitting a “substantial” application to the attorney general’s office to “correct” the report that concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, in and out of state government.
Glavin called the August 3 report “materially misleading” and said it must be amended because it’s being cited by the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee and the state’s ethics commission and could potentially be used in future civil lawsuits from complainants. “Because of the glaring deficiencies and flaws in that report, which extraordinarily prejudiced the governor, ousted him from office, overturned an election, and disenfranchised the votes of 3.6 million New Yorkers, it has to be corrected,” Glavin said.
Glavin said the team’s 150-page submission addresses issues it found with how the investigation was conducted and with the allegations made. She specifically advised viewers to read the section pertaining to Brittany Commisso, a former executive assistant that accused Cuomo of groping her when she was in the Executive Mansion, a claim he has repeatedly denied. Glavin is also requesting that the submission be looked at by an independent reviewer rather than James and that the attorney general’s office suspend its current investigation into the use of state resources for Cuomo’s COVID-19 memoir or refer it to a local district attorney.
Cuomo’s lawyer also reiterated his claim that James was performing a political hit job. Glavin said the referral letter from Cuomo instructed James to pick an independent law firm to conduct the investigation into the sexual-harassment allegations. Instead, Glavin alleges that James was personally involved, citing comments by the attorney general at a Democratic dinner, as reported by the New York Post, where she made reference to some of the accusers coming to her office and telling their stories. “She had a motive to draw every possible inference against the governor, who was a political rival and who planned to run for a fourth term,” Glavin said.
A spokesman from the attorney general’s office responded to Glavin’s claims in a statement: “Another day, another baseless attack by the former governor who resigned so he didn’t have to participate in an impeachment hearing. The most concerning part of today’s charade was the former governor’s attempt to stifle a legal criminal investigation into allegations that he used state resources for a book deal and personal profit. This is not the Moreland Commission, and we will not be bullied into shutting down this investigation like the former governor did with that commission.”
Though the press conference was streamed on Cuomo’s campaign website, Glavin said she doesn’t know whether the former governor is planning a political comeback. “I can’t speak to whether the governor is running,” she said.