Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top attorney is questioning the report that brought her client down, calling it a political ploy.
Attorney Rita Glavin held a briefing on the former governor’s campaign site calling on New York Attorney General Letitia James to “amend, correct, and supplement” her report regarding sexual harassment allegations that led to Cuomo’s resignation.
Glavin submitted a 150-page submission calling for a new investigation by “a truly independent reviewer," saying that the initial report should not have been overseen directly by James.
She noted that it’s important to correct the report as Cuomo is still being subjected to an Assembly Judiciary inquiry, and it could be fodder for potential civil lawsuits that some of the former governor’s alleged victims have said they plan to file.
Glavin called James a “potential political rival,” noting that she has not disavowed a potential gubernatorial run, and that the report came after Cuomo made it clear he was planning to run for a fourth term in office.
“Because of that conflict, which was a political conflict, the governor did not want the Attorney General’s office to conduct or oversee the investigation,” she said. “She had a motive to draw every possible claim against the governor who was a political rival who planned to run for a fourth term.”
According to Glavin, the independent investigators chosen by James were biased, with one being a plaintiff lawyer and the other having a history of investigating Cuomo and the governor's office.
“Attorney General James chose to choose investigators that were not going to be independent … They came in with bias and a predisposition against the governor and the executive chamber,” she said.
Glavin also said that her office has been denied access to the evidence against Cuomo by James’ office, which “handicaps our ability to make any response.”
“You cannot run out and drop a report accusing someone … anyone … of all types of misconduct, and then disavow any legal responsibility to have any way to defend it in any legal form.
“This is wrong. This needs to be corrected and addressed, and no entity can be taken at face value, so I plead to every one of you to read our 150-page submission.”
James responded later on Wednesday afternoon, calling the press conference a "charade" and a "baseless attack."
"Another day, another baseless attack by the former governor who resigned so he didn’t have to participate in an impeachment hearing," she said in a statement. "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.”
Glavin said that there was a conflict of interest in James overseeing Cuomo’s investigation, as she is reportedly contemplating a potential gubernatorial run to replace him next year.
“It is obvious that (there is a conflict) for Attorney General James if it is in her mind that he might run again, and it’s no secret what his campaign war chest is,” she said. “It’s entirely inconsistent with the appearance of impartiality for her to be conducting that investigation when she hasn’t answered that question.
“While the AG is running, if in any way shape, or form she considers him to be a political rival, whether he plans to run or give his war chest to an opponent, she certainly has the appearance of not having a favorable impression of the governor and she should recuse.”
Cuomo’s top attorney also played it coy when asked about whether the former governor plans to take another shot in office in 2022.
“Is the governor planning to run in 2022? I don’t know the answer to that question,” she said. “I’m his lawyer, not his political consultant. You’ll have to ask him.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.