Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted state Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday after an announcement that he won’t be charged with sexual assault.
“With each passing day it becomes more and more clear that the Attorney General’s report was the intersection of gross prosecutorial misconduct and an abuse of government power for political purposes,” a spokesperson for Cuomo, who resigned in disgrace in August, said on Wednesday.
The statement came after Nassau County prosecutors determined he won’t be charged with sexual assault involving a female state trooper at a racetrack in New York in 2019.
James’ office noted in a 168-page report following a five-month non-criminal probe earlier this year that the then-Democratic governor “ran the palm of his left hand” across the trooper’s stomach “and he pushed his hand back to her right hip where she kept her gun.”
Investigators interviewed dozens of people and reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence during their probe of Cuomo, Fox News reported.
In her interview, the trooper told investigators from James’ office that the action by Cuomo left her feeling “completely violated because to me, like, that’s between my chest and my privates.”
Nevertheless, Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith issued a statement Thursday saying that her office has “concluded” its investigation into the incident and has decided not to pursue the matter further after concluding the former governor’s actions did not constitute a criminal violation.
Smith did describe the trooper’s allegation as “credible” and “deeply troubling.”
“Her press conference proclaimed ‘11 cases of violations of federal and state laws,’ ignited the cancel culture mentality and started a media and political stampede against Governor Cuomo,” added the statement.
“James never presented the evidence to support such claims, her report omitted important exculpatory facts, she admitted her personal interference in preparing the report and had still refused to answer any questions from the press,” the statement continued.
“It was obviously a political springboard to remove Governor Cuomo so she could run for office, however it was so poorly done and obviously it backfired and James’ run for governor lasted only 5 weeks,” the statement continued.
Later, Cuomo’s spokesperson added, “Governor Cuomo did not remember touching the Trooper, but said that it was a common custom for him to acknowledge the presence of a trooper — male or female — holding a door as he walked past them.
“This was only meant to be an acknowledgment of their presence and nothing more,” the statement continued.
In an announcement earlier this month, James said she decided to remain in her current role as New York AG rather than run for governor, perhaps based on reports in November that he may be considering running for her job.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” she said in a surprise announcement. “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job.”
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