New Jersey’s U.S. senators were not prepared Friday to join congressional colleagues from across the Hudson in calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation over a growing series of sexual misconduct allegations.
“I take the allegations of the women very seriously. I also believe there is a need for an investigation. That’s exactly what I understand the attorney general of New York is conducting,” said Sen. Bob Menendez.
Cuomo over past weeks has faced accusations of sexual harassment and, more recently, groping a staffer at the governor’s mansion in late 2020.
On Friday, a dozen members of New York’s congressional delegations, including Democratic stalwarts who up until now have stood in Cuomo’s corner, called on the governor to resign, joining an existing push from New York’s state lawmakers.
But Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker were not prepared to join that push Friday morning.
“As seriously as I take the allegations, I also don’t prejudge the outcome, so I’ll wait to see the results of the investigation of the attorney general and then we’ll comment at that time,” Menendez said.
New York Attorney General Tish James has launched an investigation led by outside attorneys, and lawmakers in New York’s Assembly have promised to launch their own probe, which will be made with subpoena power.
Both senators supported probes into Cuomo’s conduct, though neither was prepared to say he should step down over the allegations.
“There should be an investigation. Women should be heard, and I think that this investigation should go forward,” Booker said, adding he had “not been following this that closely” and wasn’t aware of the latest accusations against the governor.
Gov. Phil Murphy, who appeared with the senators at a press conference on the $1.9 trillion virus relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law this week, earlier this month said he found the allegations against Cuomo “deeply concerning and deeply troubling” but stopped short of calling for his resignation.
It’s not clear whether the governor’s thoughts on the matter have changed since Albany Times Union reported the groping allegation on Wednesday.