Does Gov. Cuomo’s defense hold up?

Cuomo Under Fire

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to the New York Attorney General’s conclusion Tuesday with a pre-recorded statement, taking the time to address several of the claims made against him. He presented his public defense with the video response and his legal defense with an 85-page Position Statement.

The document compiled by his attorney, Rita M. Glavin, presents evidence they believe was left out of the AG’s investigation.

“I am 63-years-old,” Cuomo said in the video response.“There are hundreds if not thousands of photos of me using the exact same gesture.”

Albany Attorney Kathryn Barcroft of Solomon Law Firm said much of the Position Statement from Cuomo’s attorney includes a generational or cultural defense.

“I don’t know how taking a picture with somebody else, outside of your office, who you might have hugged or touched their face, I don’t see that as a defense that is going to be a viable defense,” Barcroft said.

However, she said the actions presented by the Governor and his attorney aren’t generational conduct.

“What is alleged to be touching someone’s breast or a bottom, or running a finger up their back, or asking them to do pushups in the office, these things are actually improper under the New York state human rights law,” Barcroft said.

She added that several claims against him could meet the higher federal standard of severe and pervasive conduct. Additionally, she questioned the use of victim-blaming in the document.

“Another type of defense that I saw come forward in the report was that these women were somehow complicit in the action, Barcroft said. “Those are the types of things harassment sexual harassment case, right? That somehow these women contributed to the conduct, or they didn’t mind it.”

In the first section of the Position Statement, Cuomo’s attorney compiled their defense against claims by Lyndsey Boylan—a former aide to Cuomo.

They detail her Twitter history, pointing to a tweet published on August 18, 2020, that shows her allegedly praising the Governor a month after the document claims Boylan said the kissing incident occurred in Cuomo’s office.

“This type of thing, to me, doesn’t get to the heart of the issue, which is, were these women sexually harassed,” Barcroft said.

Barcroft said The Attorney General’s report and extensive independent investigation would only make it easier to file a civil or criminal case against the Governor in the future. This, because much of the leg work has been completed in compiling evidence and conducting interviews.

On the other hand, Cuomo pleaded with New Yorkers during his video statement to look at his Position Statement and make up their own minds.

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