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Lawyers Say AG Set Out To Get Evidence Against Gov. Cuomo In Harassment Investigation

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's attorneys have lambasted the New York State Attorney General's office, saying he was "ambushed" by a report on allegations of sexual harassment against him. They also provided a litany of details intended to discredit alleged victims, giving no indication Cuomo is willing step down voluntarily.

"I know the difference between putting together a case against a target versus doing independent fact-finding with an open mind," Cuomo lawyer Rita Glavin said during a lengthy online news conference on Friday.

Glavin also accused the attorney general's office of conducting the investigation "in manner to support a predetermined narrative," adding that investigators omitted evidence that was favorable to the governor from the 165-page report.

"Here," she remarked, "the investigators acted as investigators, judge and jury."

The news conference was held shortly after reports that one of Cuomo's alleged victims, who is identified in the report as an executive assistant, filed a criminal complaintwith the Albany County Sheriff's office on Thursday.

It was one of a handful of accounts of sexual assault that Glavin attempted to undermine, although she did not address the formal criminal complaint directly. Instead, the trial lawyer provided a time-stamped chronicle of events and correspondence involving the alleged victim on the day she says she was groped by the governor in his office within the executive mansion.

"I did what I would have expected any investigator would have done," Glavin said. "I reconstructed the events of the day and the documentary evidence does not support what [the executive assistant] said."

Cuomo and his team of lawyers have until Aug. 13 to provide a rebuttal or evidence to the state Assembly Judiciary Committee, which has indicated it is close to finishing its own months-long impeachment investigation of the governor.

In order to meet the deadline, Glavin said Cuomo and his attorneys need to be given access to underlying evidence and interview transcripts, which they have so far not been able to get.

Cuomo himself has denied touching anyone inappropriately but has apologized for acting "in a way that made people feel uncomfortable."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.
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