AG James still has another Cuomo probe on the table re: book deal

Cuomo Crisis

FILE — This cover image released by Crown shows “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic” by Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo disclosed Monday that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write his COVID-19 leadership book last year and under his publishing contract will make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years. (Crown via AP)

NEW YORK — New York State Attorney General Letitia James held a Manhattan press conference Tuesday to announce the bombshell findings of her office’s probe into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment allegations — she said her investigation found the women accusing the governor of wrongdoing to be credible, among other conclusions.

But the governor still has pending investigations related to his behavior while in office.

Though James and investigators dropped a nearly-170 page report Tuesday, it solely focused on the workplace environment at the governor’s office and accusations of harassment against Cuomo.

She said Tuesday in her press conference that her office is still looking into claims that the governor misused his office in completing his book, using state resources to produce and promote “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — when New York became a virus warzone and the Trump White House attempted to downplay the severity of the illness — Cuomo’s national profile skyrocketed with lauded daily briefings that even netted him a special Emmy.

Cuomo was widely hailed for his steady leadership during the darkest days of the COVID-19 crisis, even writing a book about it.

Since then, he’s seen his standing crumble with a drumbeat of harassment allegations; questions in the separate, ongoing inquiry into whether state resources went into writing the book; and the discovery that his administration concealed the true number of nursing home deaths during the outbreak.

The revelations, most of which were initially made public last winter, led to a chorus of calls then for Cuomo’s resignation from many top elected Democrats in New York. U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said after the report’s release Tuesday that it reinforces a call for his resignation they first made last March.

James’ probe into Cuomo’s book is also separate from investigations being led by the New York State Assembly — which could lead to impeachment charges — and any criminal investigation being conducted by the Albany County District Attorney.

James’ investigation’s findings released Tuesday are expected to play an important role in the ongoing state Assembly inquiry into whether there are grounds to impeach Cuomo, who has been raising money for a potential fourth term in office. The Assembly hired its own legal team to investigate myriad allegations regarding harassment, his book, nursing homes and special access to COVID-19 testing.

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