In the spring, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) confronted harassment allegations from multiple women, leading many state officials -- from both parties -- to call for his resignation. In time, however, the story faded from front pages, not because the governor was exonerated, but because the matter was under investigation, and interested parties awaited the findings.
Indeed, it was five months ago when New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced that her office was proceeding with a formal investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against the governor, with Cuomo himself referring the matter to James for a review.
As of today, the state attorney general's office has completed its investigation. The findings couldn't be much clearer.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including employees in his office, and violated state and federal laws, according to the findings of an investigation by the state's attorney general's office. The investigation found that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women current and former state employees -- one of whom is a New York State Trooper. It also found the governor and his team retaliated against a former employee for coming forward.
The three-term Democratic incumbent has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and if recent history is any guide, he'll probably denounce today's new findings.
That won't change the unambiguous circumstances: Cuomo asked the state attorney general's office to examine the allegations against him, and the office's investigators, as NBC News' report put it, "detailed in graphic terms instances of harassment they say Cuomo perpetuated, including making sexual comments and grabbing women."
At a televised press conference, Letitia James said plainly, "Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women," actions that violated state and federal laws.
The Democratic attorney general does not, however, see this as a criminal matter, at least not for her office: James said Cuomo's accusers could file civil suits, and local prosecutors are free to pursue possible charges at their discretion.
As for the political fallout, the governor has not only tried to look past the controversy, he also hasn't ruled out the possibility of running for re-election next year. Today's findings should change the calculus dramatically.
Indeed, it's difficult to imagine how Cuomo's career could possibly withstand these new revelations. The question isn't whether the governor will win a fourth term; the question is how quickly his third term might end.
Impeachment proceedings remain a distinct possibility, unless state legislators have reason to believe Cuomo will resign. Watch this space.