ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Office of the New York Attorney General has begun releasing transcripts and exhibits from its investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Attorney General’s Office released their report based on these transcripts in August, finding that Cuomo harassed multiple women.
Following the release of the report, the Attorney General’s Office said multiple district attorneys asked that they refrain from publicly releasing the transcripts and other evidence so that their offices could investigate and decide to file criminal charges against Cuomo or not.
Following the filing of a criminal complaint against Cuomo by the Albany County’s Sheriff’s Office, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office said it would begin releasing evidence from their investigation to comply with New York’s discovery laws.
The Attorney General’s Office said, to provide full transparency, they will begin releasing the transcripts and exhibits on a rolling basis. The transcripts are from Cuomo as well as his accusers. There are hundreds of pages of transcripts from all 11 women accusing Cuomo of sexual harassment and creating a hostile workplace environment.
The AG says she had to release the reports because of the criminal case against Cuomo in Albany County. At the center of the case, a former staffer Brittany Commisso, who says Cuomo touched her inappropriately in his office—a charge Cuomo has repeatedly denied.
“To touch a woman’s breast, who I hardly know, in the mansion, with ten staff around, and my family in the mansion, to say, “I don’t care who sees us. I would have to lose my mind to do—such a thing,” he said.
Brittany Commisso says it was a pattern and not the first time she felt uncomfortable around Cuomo. According to Commisso, who is married, she says Cuomo repeatedly asked her if she had a boyfriend.
“Oh, come on, you must have a boyfriend,” said former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“No, Governor, I’m married. And he would kind of smirk and laugh and he would keep pressing the issue,” said Brittany Commisso.
Another occasion was in front of several people in Cuomo’s office. He had come up to her to compare his height to hers. “At first I thought we were going to go back-to-back… but he said no, turn around and he had me put my back to the front of him and kind of put his head over my head. He said to everyone in the room, look how short Brittany is,” said Commisso.
Cuomo’s Attorney, Rita Glavin, has repeatedly asked for this evidence to be made available to her team. She released a statement Wednesday:
“The Attorney General’s slow-rolling and selective disclosure to the world now of the 41 transcribed interviews (out of the 179 people interviewed and 74,000 documents collected) is obvious: The AG wants to prejudice people against the Governor while the criminal charge unilaterally initiated by Sheriff Apple is pending, and distract from the AG’s misleading and unreliable report. The Attorney General deliberately harms a pending case by broadcasting to each witness what other witnesses have testified to, and spreading false and salacious hearsay and rumors. No legitimate law enforcement officer acts like this in a pending case. Disturbingly, this has never been about fairness or due process.”Rita Glavin, attorney for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi also released a statement, saying in part:
“Finally—after three months for stalling—Tish James has been forced to release transcripts as more and more people are questioning her shoddy and politically motivated report. However, these transcripts include questionable redactions, and raise even more questions about key omissions made during this slanted process, which reeks of prosecutorial misconduct…The more we know about this investigation the more we know what a fraud it was.”
In Cuomo’s transcript, he said he had taken sexual harassment trainings while he was governor, and the last time he took one was in 2019. He said he did not take a training in 2020 due to COVID. The investigators who conducted the interview read Cuomo parts of New York State’s sexual harassment law to gauge Cuomo’s understanding of the law, which he said he understood.
The investigators questioned Cuomo on the sexual harassment allegations against him, which he denied or said he did not remember those instances. Cuomo also talked about things he may have done that he did not consider to rise to the level of sexual harassment.
The AG’s office says this is just the beginning of articles being released and more is to come. You can read Cuomo’s full testimony below:
The other transcripts by the people who made the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo are available on the Attorney General’s website.