Denial, Fuzzy Memory, And Obfuscation: Andrew Cuomo’s 11 Hours With AG Investigators

Denial, Fuzzy Memory, And Obfuscation: Andrew Cuomo’s 11 Hours With AG Investigators

The place on the human physique is an individual’s butt? What constitutes a girlfriend? Ought to probably the most highly effective man within the state keep in mind what number of of his staffers he kissed on the lips?

These have been among the many seemingly easy questions that spurred contentious back-and-forth’s between former Governor Andrew Cuomo and impartial investigators employed to probe allegations of sexual harassment.

The exchanges have been documented in a 515-page transcript, launched by Lawyer Normal Letitia James on Wednesday, detailing a July seventeenth interview that lasted almost 11 hours. They supplied one other window into Cuomo’s defiant posture towards an inquiry that might power him from workplace lower than a month later.

The transcript was launched as a part of the underlying documentation behind New York State Lawyer Normal Letitia James’ report revealed in August that corroborated the accounts of sexual harassment and misconduct from eleven ladies. Additionally on Wednesday, James’ workplace launched hundreds of pages of transcripts ladies who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Requested concerning the launched transcripts, Wealthy Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo’s marketing campaign raised a sequence of questions concerning the testimony of Cuomo’s accusers. ”The extra we learn about this investigation the extra we all know what a fraud it was,” he mentioned.

At the same time as Cuomo was being sworn in at 8:17 a.m., he supplied fast pushback to investigator Joon Kim, one in all two attorneys tapped by James to research the allegations. Cuomo has accused Kim, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw a number of federal corruption instances in opposition to the governor’s allies, of getting political motives in opposition to him.

He questioned Kim about his official title and interrupted him as he tried to learn Cuomo his rights. Cuomo rapidly transitioned to mockery, joking about Kim’s tie, when requested if he frequently made feedback about his staff’ outfits.

“I do not actually suppose it is a good tie, however for functions of illustration, I occur to suppose it is a good tie,” Cuomo mentioned.

Most questions Cuomo answered with a sure after which a no, leaving the door open to doubtlessly any model of the reality.

“Do you remember ever saying to her, Ms. Boylan, ‘You look lovely today,’ or words to that effect?” Kim requested, referring to Lindsey Boylan, the primary staffer to come back ahead with allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed her for months after which finally forcibly kissed her after they have been alone in his Midtown workplace.

“I don’t remember saying that,” he mentioned. “But I wouldn’t be shocked if I made that comment.”

When requested if Cuomo frequently kissed his staffers on the lips, he had a equally imprecise response.

“I don’t recall anyone specifically, but it could happen that somebody kisses [someone] on the lips,” he mentioned.

A number of exchanges ensued as Kim tried to pin Cuomo down on which staffers he had kissed on the lips.

“So you can’t say no staff member has kissed you on the lips, but you can’t say who may have kissed you on the lips?”

“Right,” Cuomo replied.

4 pages of the transcript have been spent on a tedious change with Cuomo refusing to reply whether or not he dated Lisa Shields a few years in the past. Shields got here up in questioning as a result of Boylan had launched an e mail from Cuomo’s senior aide, Stephanie Benton, the place she mentioned Cuomo had instructed her that Boylan seemed like the higher trying sister of Lisa Shields, which Boylan perceived as a come-on.

“How do you want to define ‘girlfriend’?” Cuomo requested.

“Did you date her?” Kim requested. Cuomo responded: “How do you want to define ‘date’?”

Cuomo finally admitted he had dated Shields, after a number of extra minutes of semantic sparring. One other disagreement over definitions of primary phrases erupted over the phrase “butt.”

“Could you define ‘near the butt’?” Cuomo’s private lawyer Rita Glavin interrupted, wanting clarification when Kim requested if Cuomo had touched any staffer close to the butt at an occasion.

(*11*) Kim pushed again.

“Well, near the butt now becomes an expansive area,” Cuomo acknowledged.

Inconsistencies emerged in Cuomo’s remarks relating to Brittany Commisso, the chief chamber worker who alleges Cuomo groped her below her shirt within the government mansion in December of 2020 after months of quiet advances.

Initially, Cuomo mentioned that he had “never” kissed Commisso on the lips, noting that he’d had “very limited interaction with her.” However later within the interview, Cuomo mentioned Commisso instigated extra bodily contact than anybody else he labored with: “She was more affectionate. Yes, she’s more affectionate than most people on staff.”

Kim’s repeated questions on Commisso’s groping allegation appear to go away Cuomo flustered, setting off a rant concerning the size and breadth of his political profession.

“I would have to lose my mind to do … such a thing. It would be an act of insanity to touch a woman’s breast,” he mentioned. “I am 63 years old. I have been in every public office, state, federal. Numerous people have tried to set me up. I’m always wary of people. I have phenomenal precautions.”

Kim responded calmly. “As you’ve noticed, I’m not engaging,” Kim mentioned. “I wouldn’t want the silence to go as some kind of acceptance of it,” after which investigators carried on with their questions.

Cuomo’s marathon testimony culminated at 7:01 p.m. with one closing jab at Kim, who Cuomo maintains has a political ax to grind in opposition to him, together with Lawyer Normal Leittia James, Albany Sheriff Craig Apple, and any variety of different critics.

“I would like to say it was a pleasure, Mr. Kim,” he mentioned. “However I am below oath.

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