ALBANY — Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday asked a lawyer discipline committee to investigate Attorney General Letitia James over her report that concluded he had sexually harassed 11 women, prompting him to resign from office.
The 47-page request issued to the State Supreme Court's Grievance Committee cites the suspension of the law license of Rudy Giuliani, once former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, after Giuliani made false claims that Trump won the 2020 election.
James rejected Cuomo’s latest accusation against her and supported the report by the private sector attorneys she hired to do an independent investigation.
“Attorney General James, Joon Kim, and Anne Clark hold themselves to the highest ethical standards,” stated a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. “Mr. Cuomo resigned after an independent investigation revealed that he preyed on multiple women who worked for him. New Yorkers are ready to move forward and close this sordid chapter in our state’s history.”
James faces reelection in November.
In the complaint, Cuomo accused James, a fellow Democrat, of “an intolerable personal and political conflict” in the report and her public accusations against Cuomo.
In 2021, Cuomo had requested that James appoint an independent law firm to investigate several claims of sexual harassment made by women against him. Cuomo had said the investigation by James would show he didn’t sexually harass anyone.
But James’ report on Aug. 3, 2021, concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women, most of whom worked for him in their state jobs. The report prompted several calls for Cuomo to resign and accelerated a state Assembly investigation that could have led to impeachment.
“This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and, in doing so, broke the law," James said at the time. “I believe women, and I believe these 11 women.”
On Aug. 10, 2021, Cuomo resigned, saying he couldn’t face a fair hearing in the "politically motivated" attack on him and that an impeachment trial would be a distraction for the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the months before and after his resignation, Cuomo accused James of bias because she briefly ran for the Democratic nomination against him. Cuomo also said he was a victim of an overreach by the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. Cuomo had strongly supported the movement with laws and executive orders.
Five prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against Cuomo, but one woman is pursuing a civil lawsuit.
Cuomo argued in his complaint: “It is important to note that false public statements by attorneys ‘erode the public’s confidence in the integrity of attorneys admitted to our bar and damages the profession’s role.'"