- New transcripts of former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide were released Monday.
- Melissa DeRosa, the former secretary to the governor, claimed AG Letitia James assured her the sexual harassment investigation would be ‘fine.’
- James is now running for governor after Cuomo resigned in the wake of her report.
Andrew Cuomo’s top aide said that New York Attorney General Letitia James told her “everything is going to be fine” with the sexual harassment probe that ultimately led to his resignation, according to her deposition.
Representatives for the attorney general did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In her deposition, DeRosa said she had a conversation with James on the day that Cuomo’s team issued an executive order allowing James to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the sexual harassment claims against Cuomo.
DeRosa said James called her and said “Melissa, you have to calm down. Everything is going to be fine.”
James continued: “I was at an event yesterday, and a lot of people came up to me and said that Lindsey Boylan is not credible. Nobody views her as credible. This other allegation with Charlotte Bennett is just words. You have to learn to trust people,” according to the deposition.
DeRosa then said she “did not think the attorney general should be in charge of this investigation,” court documents reveal.
“I thought there was no way that it wouldn’t be inherently political. There were all kinds of rumors that she wanted to run against the governor. I didn’t think it would be fair,” DeRosa said in her deposition.
DeRosa added: “And I asked, I asked point-blank on the phone: “Are you going to publicly announce that you are not ruling out a run for governor?”
James recently entered the 2022 New York gubernatorial campaign in a primary challenge to Cuomo’s successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, running in a crowded primary field along with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, US Rep. Tom Suozzi, and possibly outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In a statement to Insider, Rich Azzopardi, Andrew Cuomo’s spokesperson, accused James of “abusing her government power to leverage her political future,” after releasing Monday’s transcripts.
“James violated the law in appointing biased reviewers and then she admitted personally interfering in the investigation,” Azzopardi told Insider in the statement. “Today’s manipulated release of hand-picked witness testimony with selective redactions is typical.”
“It is also no coincidence that she decided to release select transcripts minutes before one of her rivals declared for governor,” the statement said. “New Yorkers are no one’s fool and James and her colleagues’ obvious misuse of government resources to damage political opponents is as obvious and repugnant as it is unethical and illegal.”