Cuomo 'believes he has a story to tell,' party chair says

A close ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now urging him to resign. Jay Jacobs, the chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, told me that he spent much of the last 24 hours trying to convince the governor to step down. But the governor wasn't having it.

"Yes, I did [urge him to resign]," Jacobs said. "I felt that was the best course."

So why isn't Cuomo resigning?

"The governor is a fighter and the governor believes that he has a story to tell," Jacobs said. "He believes that he has points that he needs to make on this that the people don't know.

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The governor did present his side of the story in a recorded statement released Tuesday. But powerful Democrats — including President Joe Biden — weren't convinced.

Cuomo's rebuttal paled in comparison to the New York attorney general's findings revealing the governor repeatedly sexually harassed women in his workplace.

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An Associated Press count now shows that a majority of lawmakers in the state Assembly favor beginning impeachment proceedings if he doesn't resign. 

"The best thing for the governor to do for the state of New York is to resign," state Sen. John Liu said. 

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Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "The governor must resign — obviously  if he doesn't we have the impeachment process."  

But Jacobs said he doesn't want to see it get to impeachment because it would damage Cuomo's legacy and much more. 

"I also don't think it's good for the people of the state of New York or the Democratic party to have a long, protracted impeachment hearing, followed by a trial in the Senate and perhaps a conviction," Jacobs said. "I just don't think we should go through all of that."

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My argument to him has been that his legacy is very important. This is just one moment in time, a difficult moment, perhaps a negative moment in his life. But it's one moment. And redemption is something that American politics has seen plenty of. And it kind of depends upon how you go out, how long it will take for you to get that redemption and find that redemption in the political process. And there's always a future no matter what. So, you know, that's what I was trying to argue to the governor, and I hope he'll heed that advice and get this thing done as quickly as possible.

—Jay Jacobs, Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee