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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a press briefing in August 2020. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized an independent investigation that found he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law in a prerecorded farewell address released during his last day in office Monday.

Why it matters: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn as governor at midnight on Tuesday when Cuomo officially resigns; she will become the first woman to hold the position.

  • Though Cuomo did not specifically address the allegations against him, he claimed “intense political pressure and media frenzy” caused a "rush to judgment" against him and promised to fight back "because it is unfair and unjust in my mind."

What they're saying: "The truth is, ultimately, always revealed," Cuomo said. "The attorney general’s report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic and it worked. There was a political and media stampede.”

  • "Prolonging this situation could only cause governmental paralysis, and that is just not an option for you and not an option for the state, especially now," he added.
  • Cuomo, who was nearing the end of his third term in office, thanked his staff and said he believes Hochul will "step up to the challenge."

Of note: He took a swipe at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee and front-runner for mayor, "will bring a new philosophy and competence to the position."

The big picture: Despite Cuomo's resignation, the New York State Assembly is proceeding with its impeachment investigation against him and will publish a report on its finding, though that does not mean lawmakers will ultimately move toward formally impeaching him, according to the New York Times.

  • Cuomo also still faces criminal investigations opened by multiple local prosecutors.

Go deeper: Hochul vows to turn the page on Cuomo's "toxic work environment"

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to say Hochul will be sworn in at midnight on Tuesday, not noon.

Go deeper

New York City to transfer 230 women and trans inmates out of Rikers Island jail

Demonstrators call for the closing of the Rikers Island prison as they protest outside the City Hall in New York, on Sept. 22. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

More than 200 women and transgender inmates will be transferred from New York City's Rikers Island jail complex and to state facilities, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Rikers for years has been plagued by neglect and dysfunction, which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday's announcement comes amid growing calls by activists and human rights groups to close the facility.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.