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Attorney General Letitia James releases transcripts in Andrew Cuomo sexual misconduct investigation

ALBANY, New York (WABC) — The New York Attorney General’s Office has released transcripts of interviews with former Governor Andrew Cuomo and the women whose accounts were included in the summertime report that led to his resignation.

Letitia James also released exhibits that comprise some of the underlying evidence used to support the conclusion that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

Those exhibits include photographs, text messages, and emails that show the governor and his staff debating how to respond to different accusations as they appeared.

The transcripts also included Cuomo’s interview with the independent investigators Joon Kim and Anne Clark, in which he denied many of the allegations, said he was careful in how he behaved around women, and said several of his accusers had misrepresented what happened.

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During his lengthy interrogation by investigators on July 17, Cuomo bristled at a groping allegation by an aide, Brittany Commisso, who said he had groped her breast in the governor’s mansion.

Cuomo, 63, said it would be an “not even feasible” for him to have done that, especially since he believed that his conduct was constantly under scrutiny by enemies, including one of the lawyers investigating him, former acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim.

“You’ve investigated me for six years,” he told Kim, referring to corruption investigations conducted by federal prosecutors during Kim’s tenure. “I would have to lose my mind to do some – such a thing. It would be an act of insanity to touch a woman’s breast and make myself vulnerable to a woman for such an accusation.”

“Numerous people have tried to set me up,” Cuomo said. “I’m always wary of people. I have phenomenal precautions. It would be an act of insanity.”

Cuomo cast Commisso as the “initiator” of any intimate conduct.

“She was very affectionate. I would say more she was the initiator of the hugs. She said that she was Italian and Italians are very affectionate people. But she was a hugger,” Cuomo said.

The Albany County sheriff’s office filed a criminal complaint against Cuomo over Commisso’s groping allegation late last month.

Cuomo also recalled no specific person but said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if somebody who worked for him at some point sat on his lap.

“I don’t recall anyone specifically, but, you know, I have people who have worked with me 14 years, 10 years,” Cuomo said. “If somebody were to sit on my lap, you know, I wouldn’t push them off.”

In all of his time of government service, Cuomo only recalled taking sexual harassment training in 2019.

“I don’t remember what years I did or didn’t take sexual harassment training,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo told the investigators he had come to believe some of the accusations were the work of political opponents who “have been part of orchestrating and resonating the complaints against me.”

“That’s what you think now?” Kim asked.

“That’s what I know now,” Cuomo replied.

Cuomo announced his resignation on Aug. 10, a week after James released the report concluding that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Investigators said the then-governor had kissed and touched multiple women without their consent, made inappropriate remarks about their looks and created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation.”

Cuomo denied harassing any of the women, saying that his behavior, while sometimes “too familiar,” had been used against him in a political environment where “rashness has replaced reasonableness.”

The public airing of harassment complaints began in December 2020 when onetime Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan accused the governor of sexually harassing her “for years” in a series of tweets.

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Other accusers cited in the report included a state trooper assigned to Cuomo’s detail and an energy company worker who said Cuomo ran his fingers on the lettering that ran across the chest of her shirt when they met in a rope line in 2017.

Following the release of the report, multiple district attorneys asked that James’ office refrain from publicly releasing transcripts and other evidence so that their offices could first investigate and determine whether to file criminal charges against Cuomo.

However, following the filing of the criminal complaint against Cuomo on October 28, 2021, in Albany County, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office informed the Attorney General’s Office that it would begin releasing evidence to Cuomo to comply with New York state’s discovery laws.

As a result, the Attorney General’s Office made the decision to immediately begin releasing, on a rolling basis, all transcripts and corresponding exhibits compiled during the investigation, pending redactions to protect the privacy of individuals, as appropriate.

The documents can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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