Those calling for Cuomo to step aside ranged from influential liberals like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman to high-ranking and long-serving members like Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney.
Cuomo and his administration defended their decision, arguing that with both the Justice Department and New York state lawmakers asking questions, the federal inquiry became their priority. The governor has denied any suggestion or wrongdoing.
He is also facing allegations from multiple women of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. Those accusations began in late February when a former aide alleged in a Medium post that Cuomo kissed her on the lips against her will in 2018 after a short meeting in his New York City office.
In a press conference last week, Cuomo apologized to all of the women making accusations, explaining that he never realized he “was making anyone feel uncomfortable.” He also denied touching anyone inappropriately.
Since the series of controversies began, Cuomo has been repeatedly asked about whether he would resign. And he has repeatedly rejected the idea.
It’s not immediately clear whether the series of resignation calls on Friday will change Cuomo’s personal views on resignation. But that may not matter. The reality is that large numbers of elected officials — from across the ideological spectrum — are now public with their calls for the governor to step aside. And it’s hard to see that number not growing larger in the coming days given the dam breaking that happened among the New York delegation on Friday.
All of which means that the public pressure on him to leave, which was at sort of a medium boil this week, is going to be massive heading into the weekend and early next week.
But the momentum here is all against Cuomo. His ability to stall and/or run out the clock until public attention and interest has moved on has dropped remarkably with the announcements on Thursday and Friday.
Put simply: His chances of surviving politically until he is up for a fourth term next November just dropped. Significantly.