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As Cuomo prepares to leave, his lawyer again challenges accusers

A moving van drives away from the governor's

A moving van drives away from the governor's mansion in Albany as workers were seen carrying out boxes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepared for his last day in office, Friday Aug. 20, 2021. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

ALBANY — As moving trucks were loading up Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s belongings, his attorney on Friday again questioned the credibility of women who have accused the governor of sexual harassment and said she was submitting more material to clear his name.

In the morning, local media outlets captured video and photos of state workers loading boxes of materials into U-Haul trucks at the Executive Mansion, before Monday, Cuomo’s expected last full day in office.

In the afternoon, Cuomo lawyer Rita Glavin criticized his accusers.

She vaguely hinted she’d unearthed "credibility" issues about one of the women and presented photos she said undercuts inappropriate touching claims by another.

She said Attorney General Letitia James omitted evidence favorable to Cuomo in a report that concluded the governor sexually harassed 11 women — which triggered Cuomo’s Aug. 10 announcement he’d resign, effective two weeks later.

Glavin said she would submit more material to James and the Assembly's impeachment committee in defense of Cuomo.

Glavin’s online video prompted a swift response, with the lawyer for one of the women calling it the "desperate efforts of a bully down and alone, incapable of taking responsibility for the harm he’s caused."

And a spokeswoman for James called the remarks by Cuomo’s attorney more in a series of "continued attacks, lies and conspiracy theories."

It’s one of the latest flourishes in a scandal that rocked New York’s political world, sparked multiple investigations, upended the tenure and legacy of the three-term governor and cleared the way for New York’s first woman leader, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The James report, issued Aug. 3, sparked the state Assembly to accelerate an impeachment investigation of Cuomo. On Aug. 9, the Assembly signaled it could vote by the end of the month to charge the governor. The next day, Cuomo announced he would resign.

Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat, is set to take over Tuesday.

Cuomo still hasn’t submitted a formal resignation letter and hasn’t said where he’ll live next.

Glavin, without providing specifics, said there were "credibility issues" with Charlotte Bennett, 25, a former Cuomo aide who says the 63-year-old governor tried to "groom" her for a relationship and asked her if she was open to relationships with older men.

Further, Glvain displayed photos of Cuomo talking to — but not touching the chest of — Virginia Limmiatis, which the attorney asserted proved the governor didn’t inappropriately touch the Syracuse-area woman at a 2017 event as James concluded.

Though Cuomo’s departure is still expected, Glavin signaled her effort was not just about combating James’ report, but potentially pushing back against any of the five criminal investigations launched against Cuomo by county district attorneys looking into harassment allegations.

We are "asking that the attorney general report be made fulsome. That it be made complete," Glavin said. "The public should be able to see this as should any government official looking at this case."

Limmiatis’ attorney, Mariann Wang, called it desperation.

"Here we go again. Abandoned and alone, Cuomo uses his last few days on the job to take care of himself rather than New York, and resorts to his old tactics. He gaslights and attacks the women who were brave enough to stand up to him and speak the truth," Wang said.

Bennett’s attorney, Debra Katz, criticized Glavin’s remarks as "rank insinuation" and suggested it could be used in a lawsuit against Cuomo after he leaves office.

"Smearing Charlotte, as his lawyer did today, is actionable post-employment retaliation," Katz said. "The governor would be wise to think twice before holding another press conference."

Delaney Kempner, spokeswoman for James, said of Glavin’s claims: "Given the multiple, ongoing criminal investigations into the governor’s conduct, it would not be appropriate to respond further to these baseless attacks. The 168-page report and additional 486 pages of exhibits clearly corroborate the experiences of the complainants, yet the governor and his aides continue to undermine those who seek to expose this dangerous conduct."

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