Before announcing he would leave office by August 24, the governor’s lawyers gave a 40-minute presentation reiterating his innocence.
But, analysts said it consisted of predictable tactics. Defense attorney Arthur Aidala said Cuomo’s defense was built around the idea that there were cultural differences between him and the 11 women New York Attorney General Letitia James said credibly accused him of sexual harassment.
“You admit what you can’t deny but you deny what you can’t admit,” Aidala said on On Balance with Leland Vittert. “There’s pictures of him holding them and touching them. So he’s got to admit that he did that, but he has to deny that he did it for some form of sexual gratification.”
Other legal analysts have assessed James’ report includes claims that could bring misdemeanor charges against Cuomo. However, those charges would need to be filed within two years of any alleged crime, and it’s unclear if that would be the case.
Aidala said it’s possible prosecutors could have struck a private deal with Cuomo’s lawyers not to pursue charges in exchange for his resignation, though that type of arrangement would not necessarily be public.
The governor’s decision to resign further complicates the professional image of his brother, Chris Cuomo. The CNN host has the week off on what the network says was a pre-planned vacation.
Still, media critics have panned CNN’s ethics in recent days after it came to light that Chris Cuomo gave advice to his brother’s advisers.
On his show, Chris Cuomo did not discuss the scandals. However, in 2020 he interviewed Andrew and even asked if he planned to run for president.
Andrew Cuomo said no.
“When you sort of break journalistic standards by not disclosing a relationship with Andrew, his brother, and interviewing him when in good times, and then when things go south, well, you suddenly can’t cover him? Well, that’s not proper journalism,” Miediaite founding editor Colby Hall said on On Balance.
Hall added his sources in CNN’s middle management are upset at their bosses for not seeing the conflict-of-interest controversy coming.
It’s unclear exactly when Chris Cuomo will return to his show.