Biden Finally Breaks His Silence on Cuomo’s Sexual Harassment Scandal

"Joe Biden" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

On Sunday, Biden broke his silence on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s rising allegations of sexual misconduct. However, his comments fell short of calling the New York governor to resign. 

“P20210122AS-0386” (United States government work) by The White House

President Biden and Gov. Cuomo’s acquaintance finally addressed the scandal that is surrounding his co-party during an unscheduled question and answer session from the White House South Lawn. Biden’scomments happened after multiple Democrats joined the growing chorus of lawmakers who demanded Cuomo’s resignation after the seventh allegation of sexual misconduct. 

When Biden was asked whether he agrees with other Democrats’ call for the New York Governor’s immediate resignation, Biden merely replied with, “I think the investigation is underway, and we should see what it brings us.”

Biden’s wait-and-see approach is not a common sentiment among his co-party as Democratic senators and representatives called Cuomo to leave his position as the allegations of sexual misconduct to continue to emerge. 

Nearly 90% of New York’s congressional delegation has called for Cuomo’s resignation for his impeachment. 

On Friday, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer joined New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler in calling for Cuomo to resign. 

On Sunday, Pelosi also reaffirmed that she has “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment. However, the Speaker of the House refused to echo his co-party’s call for Cuomo to resign until an investigation against him is completed. 

Meanwhile, during a press call on Friday afternoon, a defiant Cuomo addressed the allegations and insisted that he did not “did not do what has been alleged.” Cuomo also said that he would “fully cooperate. However, he expressed no plans to resign. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James is handling the ongoing investigation against Cuomo with regard to the sexual harassment allegations against him. 

Last week, the state Assembly stated what could be the first step towards Cuomo’s impeachment by opening an investigation with full subpoena power into the sexual misconduct allegations against the New York governor and the handling of COVID-19 at nursing homes. 

Biden’s weeks-long silence about the scandal surrounding Cuomo came under question over the weekend by the first accuser and Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, who also called out Biden and Kamala Harris in a since-deleted tweet for their refusal to publicly address the rising allegations against Cuomo.

Boylan wrote on Twitter, “The governor has denied all wrongdoing. He got on his platform today and said, ‘there are many motivations of why people do things.’ He is calling up hate and speculation to be directed to his accusers. All harm and hate directed at the women sit squarely on @NYGovCuomo.”

Boylan then added, “It also calls into question the judgment and courage of both @POTUS and @KamalaHarris.” She, later on, deleted the second tweet.

It is not only the President and the Vice President who tried to dodge addressing the scandal surrounding their co-party, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also refused to call on Cuomo to resign.

In an appearance on ABC interview, Pelosi began her statement by saying, “I said there’s zero tolerance for sexual harassment and we have taken measures in the House of Representatives – very strong measures – under the leadership of Representative Jackie Speier of California.” 

Pelosi also mentioned that she has confidence in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s work, stating that James had called for an “expeditious investigation.”

Pelosi also mentioned, “Again, no, no tolerance. No tolerance. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. No tolerance for sexual harassment. Let the world know that.”

However, when the ABC host pressed a question on Pelosi, the House Speaker started to distance herself from Cuomo’s dealings. 

The ABC host George Stephanopoulos pressed, “But you’re not calling on him to resign right now?” 

Pelosi tried to dodge answering the confrontation and instead stated, “I think we should see the results of the investigation… but he may decide.” She continued, “And hopefully this result will be soon. What I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart – he loves New York – to see if he can govern effectively. And that could be one of the considerations that he has.”