New surfaced sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Anderw Cuomo by a former adviser have further complicated the complex prosecution of President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of an Attorney General for his in-depth administration.
Last Saturday, Lindsey Boylan, a progressive candidate for Manhattan District President, accused the Cuomo administration of creating a « toxic » work environment while serving as Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and Special Adviser from March 2015 to October 2018. On Sunday, she accused Cuomo of sexually molesting her for years.
« Lots of people have seen and seen it, » Boylan tweeted. « I could never predict what to expect: would I be grilled at my work (which was very good) or bothered about my appearance?. Or would they both be in the same conversation? This has been the way for years. «
The allegation comes two days after an unnamed person with knowledge of the search process confirmed to the Associated Press that Cuomo was considered one of four candidates for the role, along with Federal Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland; former Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates; and Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who lost his Senate seat in November.
With Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, the elected president-elect to head the Department of Justice (DOJ) faces the delicate task of protecting the department from any semblance of political bias. To compound the problem, the incoming official will inherit a dedicated attorney – independent from the executive but overseen by the Attorney General – who will investigate the origins of the Russia investigation and a previous government in which Biden was vice president.
« Do you think this is Watergate, » said Nick Akerman, a former federal attorney, according to Politico. « Finding the person that everyone will agree to is beyond reproach, no one will guess their choices or the integrity of their choices. It’s time to take the really tough politics out of the department. «
In addition, the incoming attorney general will inherit probes to President Donald Trump and his family, who are expected to move into Biden’s presidency. The DOJ’s independence fell under Trump and Attorney General William Barr – and some former DOJ officials have emphasized the importance of restoring morale and confidence in the follow-up department.
The delicate dynamic in the game underscores the need for Biden’s chosen civil servant to be a highly credible candidate with a deep background in justice and impartiality. Not everyone considered would be able to navigate the department through the landmines.
Yates, who was involved in the Russia investigation and viewed by some Republicans as a partisan, may face a tough Senate confirmation hearing – as well as pressure to join the investigation by Special Counsel John Durham at the beginning of the Reuse Russia investigation.
Biden sought outside input from stakeholders to consider Jones for the role. However, his close relationship with the president-elect’s family could raise questions of impartiality.
Garland, a longtime U. . S.. . The appeals court judge was the election of former President Barack Obama to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court in 2016. However, Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell blocked a confirmation hearing.
Cuomo is the final contender for the fight. This week he signaled a willingness to take on the role, calling it « really critical, especially now. «
« This claim could throw Cuomo out of the competition for the Attorney General. Such claims are difficult to evaluate, but there may not be time to clarify before the selection is made, « said Jonathan Turley, legal analyst and professor at George Washington University Law School.
Cuomo was already known nationally as the governor of one of the most populous states in America, but his profile and reputation rose during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s response was broadly supported by Democrats and criticized by Republicans who opposed restrictive mitigation measures.
The new allegations against him are still taking shape and it is currently unclear whether he will emerge unharmed. However, if he did secure confirmation, Cuomo would serve in his second presidential cabinet, having previously served as secretary for housing and urban development in the Clinton administration.
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Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden, New York
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