/Cuomo to Be Questioned in Sexual Harassment Inquiry – The New York Times

Cuomo to Be Questioned in Sexual Harassment Inquiry – The New York Times

Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Mr. Cuomo, told The Times in February that the governor, who is almost 40 years her senior, made sexual overtures while they were alone in his State Capitol office, at one point asking her whether she had slept with older men before.

Investigators interviewed Ms. Bennett for eight hours under oath in May, a deposition that her lawyer, Debra Katz, described as “incredibly thorough and comprehensive.” Ms. Bennett also provided investigators with more than “120 pages of contemporaneous records” intended to back up her claims, Ms. Katz said.

Mr. Cuomo, who initially apologized for making “people feel uncomfortable,” has more recently forcefully denied any wrongdoing, saying that he is eager to tell his side of the story. His aides have appeared to discredit the investigation, suggesting that it was being driven by Ms. James’s political motivations: Some of her political allies have publicly encouraged her to run for governor.

The investigation is being conducted by outside lawyers to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. One of the lawyers has a history with Mr. Cuomo: Mr. Kim was chief counsel to Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, when the office was investigating Mr. Cuomo’s decision in 2014 to disband the Moreland Commission, an anticorruption panel.

In 2017, Mr. Kim became acting U.S. attorney for 10 months when President Donald J. Trump forced Mr. Bharara out of office. During that time, Mr. Kim was involved in the pretrial preparation in the prosecution of Joseph Percoco, a former close aide of the governor who was convicted of federal corruption charges in 2018.

The accusations against Mr. Cuomo, as well as the outcomes of the resulting investigations, could affect his chances of winning a fourth term, as opponents — both Democratic and Republican — consider running against him.

But Mr. Cuomo has continued to attract donors: On Thursday, ahead of a filing deadline, his campaign disclosed it had more than $18 million on hand, after raising $2.5 million over the past six months.

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