Cuomo Stands in a Long Line of Politicians Accused of Mistreating Women
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is the latest in a long line of politicians accused of sexual harassment or assault. Almost all have faced calls to resign, and some heeded them while others firmly refused to resign.
What is the difference between those who stay in power and those who do not? Party affiliation, on the one hand: In recent years, Democratic leaders have generally abandoned party members who have been accused of assault or harassment, leading them generally (but not always) to resign and be replaced by another Democrat. Republicans, who have not always been subjected to the same pressure from party leaders, have more generally hesitated and stayed put.
This makes Mr Cuomo’s case all the more unusual: he has made it clear that he has no intention of voluntarily leaving office. But not since President Bill Clinton has had such a broad – and public – investigation of a high-profile politician into allegations of sexual misconduct.
“This whole discussion is not based just on newspaper reports, but on careful and really thorough investigation and legal analysis,” said Emily Martin, vice president of the National Women’s Law Center. “Some politicians have exploited this kind of inherent uncertainty. They’ve learned the lesson that if you don’t quit, no one will force you. “
This time it could be different. If Mr. Cuomo does not resign, he could face impeachment proceedings from the state legislature.
The list of politicians accused of harassment or sexual assault is far too long for a single article, but here’s a look at some of the most high-profile allegations that are more recent in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
More than two dozen women have publicly accused Mr. Trump of sexual harassment or assault. Just weeks before the 2016 election, a 2005 recording surfaced of Mr. Trump bragging in vulgar terms of kissing and fiddling with women without their consent.
Mr. Trump acknowledged his words at the time, saying in a video: “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.” But he also called the conversation a “locker room conversation” and then baselessly questioned the authenticity of the recording.
Despite widespread outrage from Democrats and women’s groups, Mr. Trump was not punished for his remarks at the polls – more white female voters chose him over Hillary Clinton.
Later, in 2019, writer E. Jean Carroll accused Mr. Trump of raping her in the dressing room of a New York department store. He denied the allegation and she sued him for libel, a case in which he made the highly unusual court decision to appeal to the Justice Department to defend him.
In 2017, comedian and sports presenter Leeann Tweeden accused Mr. Franken, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, of forcibly kissing her during a rehearsal and groping her for a photo while she slept during a rehearsal. from a 2006 comedy tour across the Middle East. Mr. Franken apologized, but said he had another memory of the time.
“I don’t know what I had in mind when I took this photo, and it doesn’t matter,” he wrote in a statement. “There is no excuse. I look at him now and I feel disgusted with myself. It’s not funny. It is completely inappropriate.
Several weeks later, amid calls for his resignation, Mr. Franken resigned.
At the end of 2017, four women, then a fifth, said Roy S. Moore, then Republican candidate for the Senate in Alabama, made sexual advances to them when they were teenagers and in his thirties. A woman accused Mr. Moore of forcing her to have sex when she was 14, and several women accused him of sexual assault.
Understanding the scandals that challenge Governor Cuomo’s leadership
Several Republicans, including then-Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, urged Mr. Moore to withdraw from the race, but he denied all the allegations and said they were part of a conspiracy to to keep him out of office. President Trump backed Mr. Moore about a week before the election, which he lost to Doug Jones, who became the first Democrat since 1992 to win a seat in the Alabama Senate.
Shortly after Mr. Trump appointed Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, three women charged him with sexual assault or misconduct.
One of the women, Christine Blasey Ford, said Mr. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was around 15 at a party in suburban Maryland in the early 1980s. During hours of testimony Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms Blasey Ford said she feared Mr Kavanaugh might accidentally rape and kill her during the alleged assault.
Mr. Kavanaugh “unequivocally and categorically” denied the allegation and was upheld in court by one of the slimmest margins in American history.
Eric T. Schneiderman, then New York state attorney general, resigned in 2018 just hours after the New Yorker reported four women accused him of physically assaulting them. Two of the women who spoke to the magazine said they were repeatedly strangled and beaten by Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat. Although he denied the allegations, several party leaders – including Mr Cuomo – urged him to resign.
“My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroborations set out in the article, I don’t think it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue serving as attorney general,” Mr. Cuomo at the time.
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