David Soares, the Albany County district attorney, confirmed that a criminal investigation was launched against Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The report on Gov. Cuomo by the New York attorney general, in relation to the sexual harassment allegations against him, could only be the start. After Attorney General Letitia James released the report, Soares stated that his office is looking at the possible criminal charges against Cuomo.
NY AG Letitia James: "Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of federal and state laws. The independent investigation found that governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women." pic.twitter.com/md7WtYyHK9
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) August 3, 2021
Damning allegations against Cuomo stirred a political firestorm
The damning findings made by the Attorney General’s office into the sexual harassment allegations stirred a political firestorm around the governor. The issue also added more pressure against the scandal-plagued Cuomo who, for months, has been accused of mismanagement of the COVID pandemic in the state and hiding the real number of COVID deaths.
On the other hand, after the New York Attorney General presented their findings, Soares stated that it is not apparent that his office has an obligation in relation to the case. Thus, they reached out to the office of the attorney general to ask for all of the evidence discovered and relied upon in order to come up with their report.
Meanwhile, after Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of her investigation, Cuomo delivered a video statement, denying the wrongdoing.
However, according to the Albany County district attorney, the findings against the governor made him and other prosecutors believe that indeed criminal activity has taken place. However, Soares added that his office will also conduct its own investigation prior to making any decisions on what steps they’ll take in the future.
Albany County District Attorney asks women who alleged sexual complaints against Cuomo to step forward and cooperate in the investigation
Soares added that in order for them to conduct their own investigation, a formal complaint is needed. This needs the participation of at least one of the women who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
According to Soares, his office has already reached out to some of them, but so far they were not able to contact any.
WATCH: @LesterHoltNBC speaks to Albany County District Attorney David Soares about his office’s separate investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo. pic.twitter.com/6ZyIzk2fcV
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) August 3, 2021
The Albany County district attorney then called for any of the victims to reach out to his office. He also promised that they will be conducting the investigation as discretely as possible.
In the previous months, there were 11 women who stepped forward and alleged sexual harassment against Cuomo. Out of the 11 women, nine were past or present employees of the state office.
The sexual harassment claims against the government range from nonconsensual groping to allegations of inappropriate comments. According to the investigators from the attorney general’s team, the claims made against Cuomo were profoundly supported with evidence.
The team also added that on Tuesday, they talked to at least 179 people. They then reviewed over 74,000-page documents as part of the investigation.