Tuesday we learned that a 6th accuser had come forward against Andrew Cuomo. But as Allahpundit pointed out there was very little information in that initial report about what had happened. All it really said was that there was some form of inappropriate touching that took place on a visit to the Governor’s mansion. Today, we’re getting a bit more detail and this is arguably the worst claim yet:
The staff member, whose identity is being withheld by the Times Union, had been called to the mansion under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone. They were alone in Cuomo’s private residence on the second floor of the mansion when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her, according to the source.
The person, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the woman — who is much younger than Cuomo — told the governor to stop. Her broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.
Cuomo has previously dismissed the idea he’d engaged in any inappropriate touching by suggesting he’s just a hugger by nature. That was already a stretch but it’s not going to save him here, not if these allegations are substantiated. There’s just no innocent explanation for reaching under a young woman’s shirt. As the story points out, “The conduct she has described could potentially be pursued as a misdemeanor sexual assault charge.”
Also included in today’s story is additional information about how the allegations came to light and, oh boy, does this not look good for the governor. Remember that news conference Cuomo gave last Wednesday after a week-long absence? The accuser was listening to his denials in the executive office and became emotional, which I guess is PC language for burst into tears.
In the news conference, the governor denied ever touching any women “inappropriately.”
Hearing those remarks, the female aide became emotional. At least one female supervisor came to her aide and asked her why she was upset. The female aide subsequently told the supervisor what she said had been inappropriate encounters with Cuomo, the source said.
If you step back a bit, this allegation has a lot in common with what Charlotte Bennett claimed happened to her. Like the 6th accuser, Bennett was a young woman who was called to Cuomo’s office only to find herself alone and being propositioned by her boss, a man nearly 40 years older than she was. It’s also similar to Lindsey Boylan’s claim that Cuomo got her alone in his office and kissed her on the lips.
I tend to be overly optimistic in situations like this but my first thought is that Cuomo’s goose is cooked. We’ve seen a number of powerful Democrats (Sen. Gillibrand comes to mind) saying the allegations are serious but then stopping short of calling for Cuomo to resign. I don’t see how anyone can maintain the position that Cuomo might actually be innocent at this point. Once there is a clear pattern and groping involved, it’s probably time to cut bait.
Of course that assumes this allegation can be verified in some way (contemporaneous conversations or texts). Hopefully this young woman told at least one person about what happened at the time. We’ll have to wait and see what Cuomo has to say about this and whether or not his next set of denials brings forth another crop of accusers.