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Confronted with revelations, Cuomo runs out of Democratic friends

In March, Lindsey Graham encouraged Dems to "follow the Republican model" when dealing with the Cuomo scandal. Fortunately, Dems chose a better path.


It was late morning yesterday when New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) unveiled the findings of a months-long investigation into harassment allegations surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). The conclusions were brutal: investigators determined that the governor sexually harassed 11 women, and Cuomo and his team retaliated against a former employee for coming forward.

About an hour later, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) published a tweet that began, "Start the clocks." The congresswoman asked how long it would take for prominent Democratic leaders in New York and D.C. to call for the governor's resignation.

The implication seemed to be that Democrats might try to excuse, or at least look the other way, Cuomo's alleged misconduct because of his party affiliation. Democratic leaders wasted little time proving otherwise.

President Joe Biden called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign Tuesday following an investigation by the state attorney general's office that found he sexually harassed almost a dozen women, including employees in his office, and violated state and federal laws.... Biden's comments were the latest in a string of calls from Democratic members of Congress on Tuesday for Cuomo to resign.

At times yesterday, it was difficult to keep up with the avalanche of Democratic officials calling for Cuomo to step down. In Albany, New York's state capital, state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in a statement, "It is abundantly clear to me that the governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office."

Around the same time, both of New York's Democratic U.S. senators called for Cuomo's ouster, as did members of the state's U.S. House delegation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has nothing to do with New York state government, but she added her voice to those calling for Cuomo's resignation. By the early evening, the Democratic governors of four nearby states -- New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island -- released a rare joint statement making the same call.

In terms of the practical effects of the intra-party pressure, there's little to suggest Cuomo will step down, at least not immediately. Indeed, it's worth noting that many of these same Democratic officials called for the governor to quit in March. He ignored the pressure then, and it's likely he'll ignore the pressure now.

That does not, however, mean that Cuomo should get comfortable. On the contrary, the district attorney's office in Albany County acknowledged yesterday that it's examining the allegations as a possible criminal matter, and Democratic state legislators are openly exploring an impeachment process.

It was against this backdrop that I was reminded of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appearing on Fox News in March, when he encouraged Democrats to "follow the Republican model" in response to the allegations surrounding Cuomo.

What the South Carolina senator failed to acknowledge was the fact that a great many women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct and assault. Under "the Republican model," GOP officials spent four years expressing indifference to the allegations.

Thankfully, Democrats have chosen a different model in response to the Cuomo scandal.