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NY Congresswoman Calls For Independent Investigation Of Cuomo Over Sexual Harassment Claims

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik Photo Credit: Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

A Republican congresswoman from upstate New York is calling for an independent probe into allegations of sexual harassment made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo by a former aide.

Last week, the former Cuomo aide, Lindsey Boylan, called the governor’s workplace “toxic,” before then accusing him of sexual harassment, and his administration of standing idly by and watching the alleged abuse.

“I am publicly calling for an independent investigation into the serious allegations of pervasive workplace sexual harassment and verbal abuse by Gov. Andrew Cuomo,” Rep. Elise Stefanik said on Monday, Dec. 14. “The people of New York deserve a governor who lives up to his own public statements on sexual harassment.”

Cuomo has repeatedly denied the sexual harassment allegations, with a spokesperson issuing a one-sentence statement over the weekend when they were first made saying “There is simply no truth to these claims.”

Cuomo doubled down on his denial on Monday saying that it is “just not true" after responding to reporters' questions at a COVID-19 briefing.

“I heard about the tweet and what it said about comments that I had made. And it’s not true,” Cuomo said in response to two separate questions on the matter. “I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has. But it’s just not true.”

In calling for a private investigation, Stefanik referenced the “Me Too” movement and demanding change.

“I have tremendous accolades for the women who came forward,” she said. “That is the essence of the ‘Me Too’ moment and ‘Me Too’ movement. Change comes when people demand change, and change comes when the problem is revealed and exposed.

“That is always step one, and what you’re seeing now is women standing up all across the country and saying this nation has a chronic, disturbing, and disgusting behavior of sexual harassment against women, and it’s gone on for a long, long time and it has to stop.”

Stefanik also brought up Cuomo’s investigation into former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned two years ago after four women accused him of harassment and abuse.

“Cuomo should be held to his own stated standards," she said. "Just as Governor Cuomo appointed an independent investigator to investigate victims’ allegations against former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a completely independent investigation must exclude all Cuomo appointees and political allies.”

Stefanik did not specify who she thinks should lead the investigation, or how involved Boylan would be in a possible probe into the allegations.

“The brave women who chose to come forward deserve swift and definitive justice in this matter.” she added. “There can be no suggestion of any possibility of the reality or appearance of any conflict or anything less than a full, complete, and unbiased investigation.

"News of the alleged impropriates are grossly disturbing and must be fully investigated.”

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