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Photo: Spencer Platt/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) former chief counsel joined top Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday in calling for him to resign after an independent investigation concluded the governor sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law.

The latest: Alphonso David, who is now president of the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, called the report authored by investigators "devastating" and echoed others' comments in decrying Cuomo's "pattern of sexual harassment."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement Tuesday afternoon commending the "comprehensive and independent investigation" and called for Cuomo's resignation.

  • "Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the Governor to resign," Pelosi said.
  • When the initial allegations surfaced earlier this year, Pelosi stopped short of calling for the governor's resignation.
  • Pelosi's statements followed renewed calls for Cuomo's resignation from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand earlier Tuesday.

Why it matters: Cuomo had previously urged those calling for his resignation to wait for the results of the investigation overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James. But following the release of the investigation's report, he refused to step down, saying "the facts are much different than what has been portrayed."

  • "I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. ... That is just not who I am, and that's not who I have ever been," he added.

What they're saying: Even before the sexual misconduct investigation concluded, nearly every prominent New York Democrat called on the governor to resign. Those calls persisted on Tuesday:

  • Schumer and Gillibrand: "Today's report from New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories — and we commend the women for doing so."
    • "No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign," they said in a joint statement.
  • Reps. Tom Suozzi, Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks: "We commend the brave women who came forward and spoke truth to power."
    • "The time has come for Governor Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and resign," the three New York Democrats continued in their joint statement.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: "It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as Governor. He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately."
  • State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: "Now that the investigation is complete and the allegations have been substantiated, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as Governor."
    • "Our highest elected offices must reflect the values and integrity that​ they profess and​ New Yorkers hold dear," she continued.
  • Mayoral nominee Eric Adams (D): "It is now the duty of the New York State Assembly to take swift and appropriate action and move forward with impeachment proceedings if the Governor will not resign.”
  • Govs. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) and Dan McKee (D-R.I.): "We are appalled at the findings of the independent investigation by the New York Attorney General. Governor Cuomo should resign from office."

Go deeper: New York AG finds Cuomo sexually harassed women, violated state and federal law

Go deeper

Democrat Phil Murphy re-elected as New Jersey governor after razor-thin race

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy won his re-election bid Wednesday, defeating Republican challenger and former state legislator Jack Ciattarelli in a razor-thin race that sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party, according to AP.

Why it matters: While Murphy inched out a win in a state President Biden won by almost 16 points in 2020, the close race sends a warning to Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Florida governor announces plans for election police force

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September press conference in Lakeland, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced plans Wednesday to form a statewide law enforcement agency to investigate election crimes as part of a raft of measures on voting laws to be considered at next year's legislative session.

Why it matters: DeSantis used his news conference on Wednesday to echo the kinds of baseless claims former President Trump has made on voter fraud, without citing evidence and despite the fact that such instances are rare in the U.S.

35 mins ago - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.