Governor Andrew Cuomo is on a roll. A new report from The Wall Street Journal has revealed that Cuomo’s aides were instructed to call former staffers in an attempt to discredit one of the many women who has accused the governor of inappropriate behavior.
Scandal After Scandal
The New York Democrat is in hot water right now as several former employees have come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct. Prominent Democrats are now calling for an investigation into his conduct, but a significant majority of them are still ignoring his COVID policies which directly caused the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents. To many on the right, it almost seems like the timing of these sexual harassment allegations is too suspicious to be a coincidence. Democrats can’t attack Cuomo’s policies without drawing criticism on their own actions in other states, many of which implemented similar policies. It may be that these allegations were brought forward at the perfect time to get rid of Cuomo before these policies can be questioned.
On March 12, New York Democrats, including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler, issued calls for Cuomo to resign.
“The repeated accusations against the Governor, and the manner in which he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point,” Nadler said in a statement on Twitter, also making sure to mention that Cuomo is entitled to “due process under the law,” a phrase that Democrats only seem to use when it is one of their own being accused.
Read my statement calling for the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo. pic.twitter.com/JyZntu9HJS
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) March 12, 2021
To her credit, Ocasio-Cortez was one of the few Democrats to call Cuomo out for the nursing home scandal, though, like other leftists, she seemed to be more concerned about the sexual harassment allegations.
After two accounts of sexual assault, four accounts of harassment, the Attorney General’s investigation finding the Governor’s admin hid nursing home data from the legislature & public, we agree with the 55+ members of the New York State legislature that the Governor must resign. pic.twitter.com/jV5dwtuVPr
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 12, 2021
According to CNBC, “So far, 12 of the 19 House Democrats from New York have called for Cuomo to quit.”
But the governor has refused to resign, and is urging people to suspend judgement against him until his own administration conducts an investigation into the allegations.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that aides for Governor Cuomo have been calling former staffers, trying to discredit some of his accusers. Phone calls were placed to at least six former employees soon after the first accusation, which was made by former aide Lindsey Boylan. The subject of the calls was reportedly to ask if they had been in contact with the accuser, or to get information about her.
Some of the former staffers who received these calls told the Journal that they felt like an intimidation tactic.
The calls were allegedly part of an effort led by the governor’s secretary, Melissa DeRosa.
The Hill reports: “One former aide, Ana Liss, said that Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, called and reminded her of how much she accomplished during her tenure with Cuomo. She told the journal that the call ended on a good note when she told him she hadn’t received messages from Boylan.”
When contacted by the Wall Street Journal, Azzopardi tried to downplay the phone calls.
“After Ms. Boylan’s tweets in December, she, and her lawyers and members of the press began reaching out to former members of the Chamber, many of whom never worked with her. Those former members of the Chamber called to let various staff people know and convey that they were upset by the outreach. As a result, we proactively reached out to some former colleagues to check in and make sure they had a heads up,” he claimed.
Boylan responded to Azzopardi on Twitter soon after the story came out, writing, “I didn’t have a lawyer. I just had the full force of state government against me @RichAzzopardi. You are a liar and a fraud.”
“I didn’t reach out to anyone in December. I thought my life was over. I thought my abuser had destroyed me. For all intents and purposes, he had. I did promise myself not to give up. And I never will, regardless of @RichAzzopardi & @melissadderosa & @NYGovCuomo & other monsters,” her second tweet read.
I didn’t reach out to anyone in December. I thought my life was over. I thought my abuser had destroyed me. For all intents and purposes, he had. I did promise myself not to give up. And I never will, regardless of @RichAzzopardi & @melissadderosa & @NYGovCuomo & other monsters.
— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) March 12, 2021
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, has authorized an impeachment investigation into Cuomo over both the nursing home scandal, and the allegations.
The Bottom Line
We are witnessing a very rare event: Democrats holding one of their own accountable. Though the main story has been allegations of sexual harassment, rather than the thousands of people who died because of Cuomo’s policies, at least it’s something. This is akin to notorious gangster Al Capone going to prison for tax evasion. He did a lot of things much worse than tax evasion, but at least he went to prison.