Andrew Cuomo (D), who resigned from his post as New York governor amid a sexual harassment scandal last year, is reportedly “plotting his comeback,” Politico reported over the weekend.
“In interviews with a dozen former aides and allies, they characterized the three-term governor as still stewing over what he believes was his forced resignation, and they say he’s been conferring with some of them to determine his best course,” according to the report.
Former aides and Cuomo’s attorney told the outlet he is “designing a plan to vindicate himself” over what he thinks is a “politically driven” report from state Attorney General Letitia James. James announced last August that an independent investigation concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. Since then, five district attorneys have chosen not to pursue criminal charges, though “none questioned the veracity of the women’s claims,” the report states.
“I do expect you’ll be hearing from the governor relatively soon on this issue,” Cuomo’s lawyer Rita Glavin said. “I can’t give you the date, but I know he’s planning to make some comments.”
“He will not let this go,” she added.
Past and current advisers speculated that he could use his remaining influence to lambaste his political enemies and to “steer political conversations.” The former governor was reportedly seen dining with New York Mayor Eric Adams recently.
“An aggressive push comes with peril, some former aides noted,” the report said. “He will likely face civil suits over the sexual harassment claims; the state ethics board is trying to claw back his $5.1 million book deal; and an undercounting of nursing home deaths continues to dog him.”
Others have guessed at an attempt to take the state attorney general seat back with the $13 million he has left in campaign funds, though his spokesperson Rick Azzopardi said that is not happening.
“While no one here can help it if some people in this town continue to be fixated on him, this is blatantly false,” Azzopardi told Politico.“From the beginning the governor been laser-focused on getting the truth out and making sure that New Yorkers understand the rampant politics and prosecutorial misconduct that permeated every page of the AG’s sham report.”
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Cuomo did not rule out a political future and said he regrets resigning.
“I never resigned because I said I did something wrong. I said, I’m resigning because I don’t want to be a distraction,” he said in the interview.
James stands by her report and said Cuomo is a “serial sexual harasser.”
“For months, Andrew Cuomo has been hiding behind his campaign lawyer and falsely crying ‘witch hunt’ despite previously admitting to this misconduct multiple times,” James’ office said. The comment came after Glavin said Cuomo would file a complaint with the goal of getting James disbarred.
“If he thinks he has a real legal case, he should go ahead and file it. These attacks are disgraceful and yet another desperate charade to mask the truth: Andrew Cuomo is a serial sexual harasser,” James’ office continued.
The Politico report noted that “other than seeking vindication… few could point to a rationale for any political campaign.”
“The main question everyone’s asking is when do people move on? And there are no answers,” a former Cuomo aide anonymously told the outlet. “At some point, you have to pivot. Is the pivot point a loss in an election? I think the key on all sides is when is he comfortable saying, ‘I need to move on?’”
The New York Sexual Harassment Working Group, comprised of Cuomo’s former female aides, filed a complaint this month to have Cuomo disbarred, according to the report.
“While Andrew Cuomo continues his ‘vindication’ media campaign, the Sexual Harassment Working Group is fighting for actual accountability for the harm he inflicted on at least eleven women,” the group said.
Politico added that any of the “extraordinary support” Cuomo compiled while he was governor has “evaporated.”
“Unions, business groups and political leaders all have moved on: They have all largely galvanized around Cuomo’s successor, Kathy Hochul, for her election bid this fall and for James’ reelection,” the outlet observed. “That’s why some expect Cuomo may be more focused on clearing his own name rather than a political run. Doing so hasn’t worked out well for other disgraced New York politicians in recent memory: Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner tried to run for office and failed.”