House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally made public comments regarding the mounting allegations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling the claims “credible.” Former First Lady, Secretary of State, and New York Senator Hillary Clinton also expressed concern over the accusations.
“The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and to be treated with dignity,” Pelosi said in a statement provided to Fox News. “The independent investigation must have due process and respect for everyone involved.”
Clinton on Monday also declared her support of an investigation into the claims, according to Yahoo News.
“These stories are difficult to read, and the allegations brought forth raise serious questions that the women who have come forward and all New Yorkers deserve answers to,” she said in a statement.
“I’m glad to see that there will be a full, independent, and thorough investigation,” Clinton added, referring to the Monday announcement by New York attorney general Letitia James that her office has received a referral from the Cuomo administration allowing for an independent investigation of the allegations.
The statements from these prominent Democrat women came after two of Cuomo’s former aides came forward with their allegations within days of each other. As of this writing, however, a third woman, Anna Ruch, has come forward with claims and even a photograph of Cuomo harassing her.
— Jodi Kantor (@jodikantor) March 2, 2021
Lindsey Boylan, a former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, accused the governor of subjecting her to an unwanted kiss and making inappropriate comments toward her.
Boylan claimed that Cuomo, with the help of top female aides, “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”
She claimed that Cuomo developed a pattern of seeking her out and setting up one-on-one meetings with her, including a flight she shared with the governor from an event in October 2017 during which the governor allegedly said, “Let’s play strip poker.”
Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration, alleges that Cuomo “asked her questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and if she had ever had sex with older men.”
Fox News reports:
The 25-year-old staffer described to the Times an incident that took place in June when she was “alone” with the 63-year-old governor in his State Capitol office. According to the report, he allegedly asked her if she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships and that he was open to having relationships with women in their 20s, which were noted by the Times as “comments she interpreted as clear overtures to a sexual relationship.”
While Bennett alleges that Cuomo never tried touching her, the governor’s “message” during that exchange was “unmistakable to her.”
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Times. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
For his part, Cuomo has denied the allegations.
In a Saturday statement, Cuomo called Bennett a “hardworking and valued member of our team during COVID,” adding that “she has every right to speak out.”
“I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate,” the statement said. “The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.”
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