Many leading Democrats who demanded an investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are less outspoken about the accusations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Ford told the Washington Post in 2018 that Kavanaugh “groped” her and made unwelcome advances in 1982 when they were high school students at different schools.
Earlier this week, former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan wrote in a post on Medium that Cuomo had made unwanted advances toward her, forcibly kissed her and suggested she “play strip poker” with him.
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Kavanaugh and Cuomo both denied the allegations.
But Cuomo had called Kavanaugh’s eventual Supreme Court confirmation a “sham” and said it would energize Americans “to fight even harder for our shared vision for a better future for all.”
He also suggested the new Supreme Court justice take a polygraph test.
The White House appeared to distance itself from Cuomo Thursday, with press secretary Jen Psaki saying “any allegation should be reviewed.”
Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, Patrick Leahy, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal – all of whom were among the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings in 2018 – did not respond to questions about whether Ford’s allegations were any different from those of Boylan.
Democrats had painted the claims against Kavanaugh as at least worthy of an investigation and possibly disqualifying, while their Republican counterparts argued he had a right to due process.
“At a bare minimum, this week’s scheduled committee vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court must be postponed until this matter is fully and thoroughly investigated,” Booker said at the time.
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“Her story is credible, and I believe her,” Hirono said of Ford in a 2018 statement. “As I said during the hearing, this is why the #MeToo movement is so important, because often in these situations, there is an environment where people see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing. That is what we have to change.”
“She had a lot of credibility when she spoke about her memories from that night,” Klobuchar said of Ford’s testimony during a 2018 interview with NPR.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in a statement in 2018 declared, “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” also declined to comment.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren questioned whether Kavanaugh was “hiding” something during his confirmation process. She declined to comment on the Boylan case.
And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, usually an outspoken women’s rights advocate and one of two Democratic senators from Cuomo’s home state, remained mum on Boylan Thursday after ignoring repeated questions Wednesday.
In 2018, she argued on Twitter that the #MeToo movement boiled down to a single question:
“Do we value women?” she wrote. “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford deserves to tell her story. She deserves respect and a full investigation.”
Some New York Democrats have demanded a probe into the Boylan accusations, including state Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has feuded with the governor over reports that the Cuomo administration had underreported coronavirus deaths among senior citizens in care facilities by as much as 50%.
“With any allegation there, there has to be a due process,” Cuomo’s fellow New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday.
In 2018, she said Kavanaugh had been “credibly accused of sexual assault,” despite a lack of evidence, and claimed he would lie under oath
Her office ignored requests for comment on the allegations against Cuomo Wednesday, but she later told reporters that responsibility to investigate the governor “falls squarely in the state Legislature” – which is controlled by Democrats.
“And so defining what that process looks like in the in the state Legislature is something that I’d certainly defer to them,” she said.
Elias Farah, a member of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, a bipartisan group formed to combat sexual harassment at New York’s State Capitol by lawmakers and their aides, told Fox News Thursday that the state’s current legislative investigative body is not sufficiently independent from Cuomo to conduct a comprehensive probe.
He noted that when state lawmakers are accused of misconduct, they have nearly unlimited access to legal resources – on the taxpayers’ dime. Oftentimes, those attorneys bill the state far more than the victims are even asking for, he said.
He also referenced the infamous Moreland Commission – Cuomo’s handpicked anti-corruption panel — which the governor dismissed amid allegations he was interfering with investigations into his allies in 2014.
“Taxpayers should actually ask – why isn’t there an independent commission?” Farah said. “This is America. We’re not a fascist state. We’re not a communist state.”
The SHWG demanded an immediate independent investigation into Boylan’s allegations Wednesday.
“If people are gonna come out and speak against somebody like Kavanaugh, they also need to speak out against the governor,” Farah said.
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He also said accusers deserve their own due process when they come forward with allegations.
“I know personally that is not an easy thing to do,” he said, referring to his sexual harassment case against his ex-boss, former GOP state Rep. Angela Wozniak. “And if you’re going to subject yourself to the criticism that’s going to come with that, you must have some veracity to your statements.”
Fox News’ Houston Keene contributed to this report.