Now that former AG Letitia James has declared her campaign for governor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking set to slide on the sexual harassment charges that purportedly loomed over his post-political life, sparing him the ultimate embarrassment - a criminal charge, the NYT reports.
Despite being charged with a sex crime late last month, it looks like prosecutors are preparing to back down after all, leaving Cuomo with fewer legal worries, as the Albany prosecutor in charge of the case has asked a judge to dismiss the misdemeanor sex crime complaint allegations against the former governor.
Per the NYT, the sex-crime case against former Gov. Cuomo was thrown into doubt on Friday after the Albany County district attorney wrote "an extraordinary letter to the court" where he characterized a criminal complaint as "potentially defective" because it did not include a sworn statement by the victim that would allow a prosecution to proceed.
In a letter to an Albany judge, DA David Soares said he takes issue with the Albany County sheriff for "unilaterally and inexplicably" filing the complaint last week without first informing Soares, whose own investigation was still active. Soares noted several potential problems with the sheriff’s filing, saying that the failure to include a sworn statement from the alleged victim, Brittany Commisso, was hindering the district attorney’s office’s ability to "proceed with a prosecution on these papers."
The decision, which will delay Cuomo's arraignment until January, also casts doubt on the likelihood that Cuomo will face any repercussions for the sexual harassment allegations, which include placing his hand inside a former staffer's blouse.
Portions of Ms. Commisso’s testimony were also excluded, and Mr. Soares asserted that one part of the complaint misstated the relevant law.
Mr. Soares described portions of Ms. Commisso’s testimony that were not included in the complaint as “exculpatory,” meaning that the evidence could be favorable to Mr. Cuomo. Experts cautioned that could mean something as narrow as a statement being inconsistent.
Mr. Soares, a Democrat, asked the judge, Holly Trexler of Albany City Court, to delay Mr. Cuomo’s arraignment, which had been scheduled for Nov. 17, for 60 days “to reduce the risk of a procedural dismissal of this case” and to give the district attorney “time to continue with our independent and unbiased review of the facts in this case."
On Friday, Judge Trexler approved Mr. Soares’s request and postponed Mr. Cuomo’s arraignment until Jan. 7.
So, Dems are blaming a technicality for sinking the misdemeanor charges against Cuomo, while leaving open the possibility that he might face other charges brought by the DA.
Mr. Soares’s letter underscored how the surprise decision last week by the sheriff, Craig Apple, who is also a Democrat, to charge the former governor without coordinating with the district attorney could ultimately threaten the case against Mr. Cuomo. Such coordination is typical in long-term, high-profile law enforcement investigations.
Ms. Commisso, a former executive assistant to Mr. Cuomo, told investigators that he reached under her blouse late last year and groped her breast while they were alone in the Executive Mansion in Albany. Mr. Cuomo has denied touching Ms. Commisso inappropriately and his lawyer has repeatedly cast doubt on her version of events.
But we thought the Democrats were supposed to 'believe all women'?