Source: Hot Air
It’s yet more blue-on-blue rhetorical “violence” (as the Democrats like to describe it) in the mostly blue state of New York. Andrew Cuomo has been out of the governor’s office for more than a year now, but like a moth drawn to a flame, he can’t seem to stay away from the political theater and retire to the private sector. First, he began floating the possibility of a comeback and running for his old office again, but he finally ditched that idea when his slick advertising campaign failed to move the polls significantly. But now he’s diving back into the drama and bringing an ethics complaint against New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Cuomo’s attorneys claim that James “purposely misled the public” about sexual assault allegations filed against him by eleven different women. They further claim that she did so for “personal and political gain.” These are serious charges, but will they have any impact after the circus we all watched play out in 2021? (Washington Examiner)
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo filed an ethics complaint against the state’s attorney general, Letitia James.
In the 48-page filing, Cuomo alleged James purposefully misled the public about sexual assault allegations against him and used the inquiry to pursue her own personal and political gains. He claimed that James’s report on 11 sexual assault allegations against him repeatedly implied that he was guilty despite the investigation itself finding that most of the accusations did not constitute sexual assault. His complaint extends to the conduct of two hand-picked aides to the attorney general: Joon Kim and Anne Clark.
“Fundamentally, the Attorney General and her investigators issued a purposefully inaccurate and misleading Report on August 3, 2021 … bombastically and repeatedly implying that I sexually harassed eleven women, even though the allegations made by most of the eleven women did not constitute sexual harassment under state or federal law, even assuming arguendo the truth of those allegations,” he wrote in the filing.
We covered that entire freak show exhaustively here last year and most of it is still fresh in my mind. (I know I was exhausted from it, anyway.) I remain of two minds about various parts of the story and the same holds true for this latest complaint.
We can start with Letitia James’ role in all of this and the specific complaints she brought against Cuomo. The witnesses who spoke out against Cuomo clearly seemed credible and the officials investigating the allegations agreed that they probably were. But their claims in all but two cases described a guy who engaged in physical contact (kisses on the cheek, hugs, shoulder-rubbing) that was quite commonplace in “the old days” when he was coming up in the political world but is now off limits in the #MeToo era.
This is completely inappropriate today, but Andrew Cuomo never really seemed to wake up to the fact that the world has moved on and he failed to move with it. Besides, have you ever gone back and watched all of the old videos of the current President of the United States and how he acted around women? We don’t have a content tag here called “Creepy Joe Biden” for nothing.
Then there is the motivation behind how Letitia James handled the situation. It’s true that accusations had been made and it should have fallen on her office to look into them. But at the same time, it was an awfully convenient investigation for her to launch, wasn’t it? At the time, James was publicly musing a primary run against Cuomo to take the Governor’s office for herself. And she had publicly clashed with him in the media on multiple occasions. If her participation in the process just happened to usher Cuomo off the stage even more quickly, we can’t deny that there was the potential for political gain there.
In the end, she decided not to run and stay where she was so she could continue her endless fishing expeditions against Donald Trump, further raising her national profile inside the Democratic Party. If she had a political motive to fire some broadsides at Andrew Cuomo, he wound up being collateral damage in an assault that James would eventually abandon anyway. (But if Joe Biden announces that he won’t be seeking a second term, keep the name of Letitia James in mind as a likely Democratic presidential primary candidate.)
So does Cuomo’s complaint have any merit with all of this in mind? At least to some degree, I would have to say it does. Proving it, however, will likely be completely impossible unless Cuomo has somehow gained access to private conversations and communications where James was recorded as saying something incredibly politically stupid if not outright career suicide. She’s not the most seasoned hand in this game, but she’s been around long enough to know better. I’d be highly surprised if she left that sort of trail of breadcrumbs for Cuomo’s people to uncover.
In the end, motive does not equal evidence. It may have been highly politically and personally advantageous for Latitia James to investigate Andrew Cuomo and release a somewhat damning report about him. But she had eleven women giving daily interviews to the press about his misbehavior and charges were filed, though no convictions resulted. That provides her with a lot of cover to hide behind in any possible ethics investigation. I think James comes out on top in this one and she likely won’t take much damage from it in terms of any possible future career moves. Andrew Cuomo managed to make himself one of the most unlikeable people in American politics and he won’t get much sympathy from anyone over his treatment at the hands of the Attorney General.