Cuomo: NY reps ‘complicit’ in Capitol riot if they don’t call for Trump’s resignation; Stefanik responds

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said two of New York’s Congressional representatives are complicit in Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol if they do not call for Pres. Donald Trump’s resignation.

“I’ve seen a lot over the past four years with [the Trump] administration,” Cuomo said. “This was the result of a leader who, for four years, actually appealed to the worst in people, appealed to fear and racism and discrimination.”

Additionally, the Governor called on all of New York’s elected officials to push for Trump’s resignation rather than impeachment and said they should “put principle over party.”

“I call on every New York federal official to call for President Trump’s resignation,” Cuomo said. “Don’t put the country through impeachment. Don’t wait for any Cabinet action. Call for him to resign as his own act, but call for him to resign.”

The Governor’s remarks came during his daily press briefing Friday afternoon. During the question and answer period, the issue of complicity was posed by Jeff Cole of WWNY.

“Going back to the beginning of your comments, here, today, in addition to your message to New York’s federal representatives, Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand puts blame on Pres. Trump and also told us in an interview yesterday that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is complicit in what Pres. Trump has done to this country,” Cole began. “Do you agree, sir, that the Congresswoman is complicit in what has happened in our nation’s capital?”

In response, Cuomo said he spoke with lawmakers earlier on Friday and asked them if they were complicit. He said it was a yes or no question.

“‘If you don’t support who he is and what he did and what happened, ask him to resign,'” Cuomo said he told the reps. “‘And if you don’t ask him to resign, then you’re complicit. It’s that simple.'”

Cuomo said the lawmakers tried to mince words and ask what he meant by “complicit.” He responded:

“Do you believe the President should resign? I do. I believe he should resign. If he doesn’t resign, I believe he should be impeached. I believe impeachment will be bad for the country, so I believe he should resign.

‘Congresswoman Stefanik, do you believe he should resign? Yes or no? Congressman Meeks, do you believe he should resign? Yes or no?’

That’s how I posed the question. If they say, ‘I don’t think he should resign,’ yeah, then you’re complicit, you’re part of it, you condoned it, you’re with the mob.”

On Wednesday, January 6, a mob of thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol while a joint session of Congress was taking place to ratify the Electoral College count to name Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States.

Lawmakers were rushed out of their chambers and taken to hide in the Capitol while rioters broke into the building, injured Capitol Police Officers, and vandalized lawmakers’ offices. The joint session was delayed by several hours while Capitol Police, DC Metropolitan Police and the National Guard worked to clear the Capitol as well as the perimeter of the building.

Dozens of lawmakers blame the President for inciting the riot as his supporters descended on the capital to rally against his false claims that he actually won the election.

Several federal lawmakers had planned to object to the Electoral College vote prior to the joint session, including Rep. Stefanik. After the riot, many of the objectors walked back their plans and supported Biden’s victory. While Stefanik denounced the rioters, she still maintained her objection.

She spoke on the House floor in the first hour of the reconvening in front of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. According to Congresswoman Stefanik, her objection was outlined in the following statements:

In Pennsylvania, the State Supreme Court and Secretary of State unilaterally and unconstitutionally rewrote election law eliminating signature matching requirements.

In Georgia, there was unconstitutional overreach when the Secretary of State unilaterally and unconstitutionally gutted signature matching for absentee ballots and, in essence, eliminated voter verification required by state election law.

In Wisconsin, officials issued illegal rules to circumvent a state law – passed by the legislature as the Constitution requires – that required absentee voters to provide photo identification before obtaining a ballot.

And in Michigan, signed affidavits document numerous unconstitutional irregularities — officials physically blocking the legal right of poll watchers to observe vote counts, the illegal counting of late ballots, and hand stamping ballots with the previous day’s date.

Stefanik responded to Cuomo late Friday afternoon. In a statement titled “Statement Responding to the Worst Governor in America Calling for Congresswoman Stefanik’s Resignation,” she said:

“Governor Cuomo continues to earn the title of the Worst Governor in America. Governor Cuomo is responsible for the deaths of thousands of seniors in nursing homes, the crippling of our small business economy in NY, the state’s population mass exodus, and the abysmal vaccination rollout disaster. He is the Emperor with No Clothes and he should resign and end his disgraceful reign of corruption and failed leadership.

I proudly stand up for the vast majority of my North Country constituents who voted to re-elect me with the largest number of votes for any congressional candidate in the history of the North Country.

I fully condemned the dangerous violence and destruction that occurred Wednesday at the United States Capitol. Americans have a Constitutional right to protest and freedom of speech, but violence in any form is absolutely unacceptable and anti-American. The perpetrators of this un-American violence and destruction must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you to the United States Capitol Police, all law enforcement, the National Guard, and the bipartisan professional staff of the United States Capitol for protecting the People’s House and the American people.”

CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK

Her senior advisor, Alex DeGrasse, also responded to the Governor in a statement:

“As the Governor and his team are well aware, he is a toxic and despised political bully in the North Country where even local elected Democrats fear associating with his name. This unhinged attack from Governor Cuomo and his sycophant goons will only help Congresswoman Stefanik’s polling and profile continue to skyrocket in Upstate New York.” 

ALEX DEGRASSE, SENIOR ADVISOR TO CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK

The back-and-forth didn’t end there. Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, responded to Stefanik’s statement on Twitter.

As a result of the riot, five people have died, including a Capitol Police Officer, and 13 arrests had been made as of Friday. Congress went on to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win early in the morning on January 7, 2021.

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