Return to Transcripts main page


One-On-One With Governor Andrew Cuomo's Attorney, Rita Glavin; Glavin: He Doesn't Believe His Behavior Was Inappropriate. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired August 7, 2021 - 18:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Tonight on CNN NEWSROOM, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fighting for his political future after a bombshell report reveals a string of sexual harassment claims.

The Governor's personal attorney, Rita Glavin joins us live.

Also tonight, the U.S. now averaging more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases every day as the delta variant surges. How much should that change the way we live? We put your questions to our medical experts.

And firefighters on the front lines. They don't know if their own homes are still standing as a massive wildfire rages out of control in California.

I'm Pamela Brown in Washington and you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you along with us.

Well, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in crisis and now at risk of criminal prosecution in his sexual harassment scandal even though he says he did nothing wrong. Just minutes from now, a view from within the storm, Governor Cuomo's personal attorney, Rita Glavin will join me for a one-on-one interview.

Governor Cuomo and his legal team are adamantly pushing back against the State Attorney General's report that found the Governor sexually harassed 11 women. One of those women has filed a criminal complaint with the Albany Sheriff's Office claiming the Governor reached under her shirt and groped her.

This afternoon the Sheriff overseeing that criminal investigation spoke out.

And before we bring in Governor Cuomo's personal lawyer, Rita Glavin, let's set the stage first.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is an Albany, New York. So, what did the Sheriff have to say -- Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in short, Pamela, what he said is it is simply because the Governor of New York is the subject of this investigation, it does not mean that his investigators here in Albany County will be moving faster or slower than they need to at its basis. This is obviously an investigation still in its very preliminary stages.

And as we heard today, at this point, he shared only what he could as it is still an early and very active investigation saying that this meeting did take place on Thursday, which is investigators met with this individual, they described as a victim, and they took down her initial complaint, and that initiated this now criminal investigation in which Governor Cuomo is the subject of.

What we do know, according to the complainant through the complainant's attorney, is it this victim is in fact the same woman that is only referred to as Executive Assistant #1 in that New York State Attorney General report that was released earlier this week in which 11 women have come forward with various sexual harassment claims against Governor Cuomo here.

What's different here, though, is that this is the first actual criminal complaint that has been filed against the State's Chief Executive. So, what we can expect in the days or weeks to come, according to the Albany County Sheriff, a series of interviews, including a formal interview with the victim. They will be teaming up with the District Attorney and even turning to the Attorney General in the State of New York for the evidence and the information that they have as they compile their report here.

And the Sheriff here in this county also not ruling out the possibility of even reaching out to the Governor and his legal counsel to actually speak directly to the governor. I want you to hear directly from Chief Craig Apple as he describes a little bit more about this case.


CHIEF CRAIG APPLE, ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK: So, that I had a female victim come forward, which had to be the hardest thing she has ever done in her life, and make an allegation of criminal conduct against the Governor.

I have a young lady that came who is alleging that she was victimized and we are going to do everything in our powers to help her.


SANDOVAL: And again, the Sheriff certainly saying that this could potentially lead them to a point where criminal charges may be filed. But again, this is still in the early stages, and as we get ready to hear from the Governor's counsel, important to point out that he continues to deny these allegations. It's really just the latest in his long list of troubles, including many lawmakers here in Albany that are preparing to eventually vote on Articles of Impeachment in the coming weeks -- Pamela.

BROWN: All right. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much for that.

And let's hear now directly from Governor Cuomo's legal team, Rita Glavin is Andrew Cuomo's personal attorney.

Hi, Rita. Thank you so much --


BROWN: I'm doing well. How are you?

GLAVIN: I'm doing well.

BROWN: Okay, so let's just start it off with what you said yesterday during that Zoom press conference, if you want to call it that. You talked about two accusers and then you said the Governor would address a third.

There are eight other accusers listed in this report. Are all of them wrong when they say Governor Cuomo sexually harassed them?


GLAVIN: First of all, not all of them say Governor Cuomo sexually harassed them. There are 11 women that are named in the report, and I want to clear up, no one has called all 11 of those women liars. In fact, the Governor has conceded and doesn't dispute some of the conduct that was alleged.

The 11 women, what they have said in the allegations they have made are qualitatively different. There are two or three allegations that are the serious allegations. I would find it very difficult to believe that the Assembly of the state of New York would impeach Governor Cuomo for kissing a woman at a wedding that he officiated in front of dozens of people and staffers.

We also have an accusation that one of the executive assistants, and she says he never touched her, I believe inappropriately or believe that he made sexual advances to her, but she was bothered saying that she was wearing a necklace one day, that the Governor was looking at the necklace, and she felt that he was looking down her blouse --

BROWN: Because the necklace was under her bra.

GLAVIN: He was looking -- yes.

BROWN: Right.

GLAVIN: So I do want to -- I do want to hit this because you have to look at what each of these people are saying and what each of these people are saying are not sexual harassment.

There is also another woman that is included in this.

BROWN: Well, hold on, just to be clear, just so you know -- as you well know, the Attorney General and the team of investigators say that these were sexually suggestive comments or that he touched them in a sexually suggestive way or claiming in at least two incidents, the more serious incidents with the Trooper and with executive assistant #1 that it was essentially sexual assault, that he touched body parts against their will. GLAVIN: Yes, so let me address those. I know very well what the

Attorney General has said and what the investigators have said. The point that we made yesterday about the Attorney General's report is that there are facts they got wrong, important facts, particularly with respect to the woman who is claiming she was sexually assaulted, she most certainly was not.

There was evidence that they collected and that they ignored and omitted putting in their report. And they also credited people that they know lied, and had motives to lie.

So, I understand what the Attorney General is saying. But what you have to do is look at the Attorney General's report. With respect to the woman who claims -- and please let me finish on this point because it's important.

With respect to the woman who has claimed that the Governor groped her at the Mansion, the report says in its conclusion, on November 16th, Governor Cuomo groped her breast. When the Attorney General held her news conference on August 3rd announcing this report, Anne Clark, one of the lead investigators said and let me quote her here: "On November 16th in the Executive Mansion, the Governor hugged Executive Assistant #1 and reached under her blouse -- under her blouse to grab her breast."

If the Attorney General drew that conclusion, don't you think they had an obligation to pull every e-mail and every Mansion record from November 16th? Because the first account that this particular woman made was in an anonymous interview -- please let me finish -- and it in an anonymous interview with "The Times Union."

And what she told "The Times Union" does not match up in any way, shape or form with what happened on November 16th, and documentary evidence and contemporary e-mails.

BROWN: Okay, there's a lot to get to here. First of all, the lawyer for this accuser gave a statement to CNN saying that that date is incorrect, that she has repeatedly said it didn't happen on November 16, 2020. And also the lawyer says that the A.G.'s office and the investigators wrote a contradictory and confusing footnote saying -- and I'm going to read this because the report nor did "The Albany Times" article ever say the specific date.

The footnote in the report says: "Executive Assistant #1 did not remember the exact date of the incident, but recalled that it was around when she was tasked with photographing a document and providing a copy of the photograph to us that was dated November 16, 2020."

Now, the attorney for the accuser says that was a contradictory footnote. That is not true, and that it actually happened on another date, so that everything you laid out yesterday was erroneous.

Have you looked at -- have you pulled records from other members of Governor Cuomo's staff? Have you looked at other days where this alleged incident possibly could have happened?

GLAVIN: Yes, we looked through the month of November and we have not identified a date.

BROWN: But it may have not been in November.

GLAVIN: But --

BROWN: Go ahead.

GLAVIN: She has said repeatedly that this was in November, and you're saying that what I laid out --

BROWN: She says, she doesn't remember the exact date.


GLAVIN: But then why did the Attorney General's report draw that conclusion? Why did Anne Clark stand up publicly in a live --

BROWN: It is the footnote that said --

GLAVIN: Please, let me --

BROWN: Did not remember the exact date of the incident. They didn't draw the conclusion.

GLAVIN: Please --

BROWN: But go ahead.

GLAVIN: Yes, they did. Go to page -- if you have the report in front of you, go to Page 24 and go to Page 162. That's the conclusion that the report draws.

But let me also finish on this point. If you look at the footnote -- and she said she didn't remember the day. What she said is that she was tasked with a photograph going and taking a photograph at the Mansion.

The photograph she provided was dated November 16th. Records from the State reflect that she was at that Mansion on November 16th.

BROWN: That is true.

GLAVIN: I have not -- and I had -- yes. And I have not seen records reflecting that she was at the Mansion another day in November. And you can -- look, I don't -- I don't mean to be impolite here. But imagine the frustration if you're the Governor of the State of New York and you have two investigators tasked with doing this investigation, and they say they interviewed 179 people and 79,000 documents. Don't you think they should have gotten this right?

Why is it on me? That is why this poor court is problematic.

BROWN: Let me just ask you how do you know -- that they haven't turned over the evidence, the transcripts? How do you know what they have and haven't done specifically? I just want to be really clear on that point. And I do want to circle back to the Executive Assistant #1, but go ahead and answer that.

GLAVIN: Yes. I have been in communications with counsel for the chamber -- with outside counsel for the chamber, which is Paul Fishman, the former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

My understanding is that the investigators never asked for all of the records from November 16th, which is pretty shocking. And then to go out and say it repeatedly that that was the date that the photograph that she took that she was tasked with taking at the mansion was dated November 16th.

And then now, you're going to move it. Of course, they are going to move the date.

BROWN: Okay. But let's --

GLAVIN: But isn't that -- but isn't -- but this is the problem that we are faced is that we have a report that's not accurate, that did not go through all of the evidence. This was no Mueller investigation.

BROWN: And I want to just -- I just want to make clear ...

GLAVIN: This is a lacking --

BROWN: ... that we have reached out to the A.G.'s Office about this discrepancy. But let's not lose sight of the bigger picture here that you have 11 women who are according to the report accusing Governor Cuomo of sexual harassment.

So, are you denying that that -- are you saying that these women are wrong? Or is the Governor saying that this is just a grand conspiracy, and that these women are all fabricating or exaggerating or making up their claims?

GLAVIN: Pamela, no one is saying that all 11 of these women are lying and nobody has ever said that.

BROWN: Can you be clear who you say is lying and who is not then? Can you be clear on that?

GLAVIN: Oh, I will be quite clear.

BROWN: Okay.

GLAVIN: The woman -- the Executive Assistant #1, he did not grope her. He did not grope her and there was evidence that was provided by several individuals to the Attorney General about potential motives for her to have made that claim. I'm not going to get into that now, but none of that was included in the report.

With respect to Lindsey Boylan, yes, I believe that Lindsey Boylan is lying. She has lied in the past. What we know from the report about Lindsey Boylan is that she began tweeting in December of 2020 and giving false representations about the manner in which she left employment in the executive chamber. BROWN: I know you've talked about that and that that was not issued in

the report. Of course, the report did make note that there were personnel files that one of the Governor's staffers was giving out to other people in a retaliatory way against Lindsey Boylan and that they didn't -- decided not to print some of this stuff because it could have been victim shaming, but I just want to ask you, we're going to talk on the other side of the break --

GLAVIN: Could I respond to that?

BROWN: Go ahead.

GLAVIN: Can I respond to that? Her personnel file was not released. Three memos were released that detailed the circumstances of her departure. Lindsey Boylan, what she told the world two weeks after she announced her campaign to run for Manhattan Borough President was that she left and she implied that she left because of a toxic work environment and I think the quote was that, "She was privileged and she could opt out" and she tried to quit three times and it finally stuck.

In truth and in fact, there had been several complaints made against her. There was a recommendation by the Empire State Development Corporation to terminate her. She was brought to a meeting where she was counseled on her behavior because of complaints about her from several employees. She resigned, and then four days later, asked to get her job back.

She reached out to the Governor's top assistant to see if she could speak with them about getting her job back and he didn't get back to her.

BROWN: Okay. I know you laid that out yesterday.

GLAVIN: So she created a false --


BROWN: But that also doesn't take away just because she may have wanted her job back, does not necessarily mean that she is lying about the sexual assault allegations that she has come forward to the investigators about.

But stay right there because I know you have more to say, Rita Glavin, please stay with us. We're going to take a quick break and continue our conversation.

GLAVIN: Thank you.


BROWN: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defying bipartisan calls to resign and attacking the credibility of a State Attorney General's report that found he sexually harassed 11 women.

Let's return to our one-on-one conversation with Andrew Cuomo's personal attorney, Rita Glavin, and just to button something up, Rita. We did check. You were right, the report says November 16th was when she was summoned to the Governor's Mansion. The attorney again, as I said before for the accuser says that that date is incorrect, that it didn't happen on that date.

And also called out the A.G.'s Office saying that they got that wrong and also said that you are essentially blaming the victim here, and that you are furthering blaming the victim. What do you say to that?


GLAVIN: How is it blaming the victim to defend your client?

BROWN: Is that all you have to say?

GLAVIN: No, I just -- what I'm saying here is, this woman claimed that she went to the Mansion and that she was groped and she was there for a short time. The Attorney General's Office could have gotten any document that they wanted. They can ask for all the pins every time that she came into the Mansion. That is the only date that they identified in November and she has said repeatedly this happened in November, and they drew that conclusion.

And I'm just telling you to say blaming the victim -- for the Governor to deny what she has claimed is not victim blaming. What I am doing is telling everybody that that report is shoddy, it is biased. It omits evidence and it was an ambush, and they haven't shared all of their evidence.

I would love to have the opportunity to look at it.

BROWN: I understand you take issue with the process. I understand you take issue with the process. They haven't overturned transcripts and so forth. But that doesn't necessarily get to the allegations and the heart of the allegations, and I know that you took the time to go over Executive Assistant #1 and so forth.

But you essentially argued yesterday, if it -- on the November 16th day that she couldn't have possibly been a victim of Governor Cuomo because she was staying later and was snacking and, you know, was at the Governor's Mansion for hours.

GLAVIN: Right.

BROWN: And then you went on to say -- hold on -- then you went on to say, "He is 63 years old. He has spent 40 years in public life and for him to all of a sudden be accused of sexual assault of an executive assistant that he really doesn't know doesn't pass muster." Why would that not pass muster?

GLAVIN: Because it doesn't pass muster with what she told "The Times Union" on April 7th in an anonymous interview. The point that I was making yesterday, is not that 11 women are lying. I've never said that. I think another a number of these women are telling the truth.

But with respect to Executive Assistant #1, it is really important to note that she gave a narrative to "The Times Union," then I read the report for the first time just like you read the report and everyone else and I looked at this November 16th, and I was like there's no way because what she told "The Times Union" is that she was there for about 20 minutes, and left.

What we saw on November 16th, because we did take that to be the day because the Attorney General told us that was the date, the investigators in the Governor's interview, they then reported it and announced in the press conference. There is no victim blaming or shaming here to point out that what she said happened absolutely does not match up with what happened on November 16th.

BROWN: Okay, and November is not --

GLAVIN: And it is not --

BROWN: Again, the attorney for the accuser -- but I -- we don't have a whole lot of time, and I have let you speak and you did speak about this yesterday. So, I do want to move on to this other allegation from the female State Trooper still in the Governor's detail, saying that the Governor touched her body inappropriately on her stomach and on her back. Do you deny that happened?

GLAVIN: The Governor is going to address this very, very soon.

BROWN: But you're the lawyer for the Governor.


BROWN: She said she was violated, another supervisor saw it happen according to this report and corroborated it in the report. What is your response to this?

GLAVIN: The Governor will be addressing that, and he wants to personally address that.

BROWN: When can we expect to hear from the Governor on this?


BROWN: How soon?

GLAVIN: I think it's going to be very soon. I'm not going to give you a time and a date, but I think it's going to be very soon.

BROWN: Okay. But you've talked to your client. I mean, he is your client. Did it happen or not? Can you tell us anything about it?

GLAVIN: The Governor is -- the Governor will be addressing this. Absolutely.

BROWN: This is the subject of, at least, I think it's like four District Attorney investigations, it is really the centerpiece of it. Do you think that's really a good idea for your client, the Governor to go out and talk about it? GLAVIN: He is the Governor of the State of New York. He has already

gone out and spoken out about some of these allegations. I think he will have things to say, but I can tell you what I've read with respect to the State Trooper is not criminal conduct.

BROWN: Okay. It's not criminal conduct that he allegedly touched her down her back and touched her on his stomach in between her you know, her belly button and her private parts. That's not illegal conduct?

GLAVIN: He touched her on her stomach -- that's a criminal conduct as far as I know.

BROWN: Okay. So, if he did that -- or is that acceptable behavior?

GLAVIN: It depends on what the context of the circumstances were.

BROWN: It depends on the context. Okay. So I just want to be clear, because the Governor has completely -- has said he hasn't done anything inappropriate. Are you saying it depends on if it was consensual or not, is that we're getting at?

GLAVIN: No, no.

BROWN: Okay.

GLAVIN: What I'm -- what I'm getting at -- what I'm getting at, Pamela, is that the Governor may very well have touched the State Trooper's back and she may have understood it one way and he understood it another way. With respect to --


BROWN: How is that ever appropriate? How is that ever -- in what scenario would that be appropriate?

She said he touched her on her belly, too. When would there ever be a case and another supervisor saw it according to the report, corroborated it, and followed up with the State Trooper to ask if she was okay, after it happened. How it -- is there --

GLAVIN: I can't speak -- I cannot speak to what the discussions were with the State Trooper. I cannot speak to what those interviews were with the State Trooper because I've only seen what's in the report and what I would very much like to see is the underlying interviews, not -- not what the Attorney General and her investigators have characterized. I want to see the interviews, and I want --

BROWN: Okay, so from you read though, you're okay with it?

GLAVIN: You're asking me -- you're okay with me to comment. Okay with what?

BROWN: The State Trooper allegations where she said she felt violated when he -- he went with his finger down her back from her neck down her spine, and when he touched her on her stomach, and went to the side where her gun was being held. And another supervisor saw that and corroborated it. That is acceptable to you.

GLAVIN: I didn't -- I have not said that. You're putting --

BROWN: I am asking.

GLAVIN: Look, Pamela. Pamela, you're putting words in my mouth. Look, I want to see what --

BROWN: You said there could be situations where that would be acceptable.

GLAVIN: Absolutely.

BROWN: Where -- how -- how could that be acceptable?

GLAVIN: Absolutely. I don't -- I don't know. I was not there. And I don't know what the conduct was, but I do not think --

BROWN: But don't you trust the woman who said she was violated? Do not respect how it made her feel?

GLAVIN: I would -- I would like to have a -- I'd like to have a conversation with you and not be yelled at.

BROWN: I am not yelling.

GLAVIN: But here is -- okay -- but here is the thing. I haven't seen the underlying interviews, I know the Governor is going to address this issue, and one thing I will say about this particular trooper is that I do know that the Governor has tremendous respect for her, believes she has been an excellent member of her detail.

And to the extent that she believes and felt he did anything, that violator was inappropriate. He feels very, very badly about that, that I do know, and I know he's going to address this.

BROWN: And I just want to be clear, too, Rita, and I apologize if you think I was yelling at you that was certainly not my intent. But I want to be clear that the woman because she is not here to represent herself, that she told investigators she felt violated. So, I just want to be really clear in representing that side, too.

But you have made it clear during this interview that some of what the woman said has been true. So, I just want to lay out for our viewers who are watching right now because it's all getting -- it can easily get confusing.


BROWN: What is the behavior that you say the Governor absolutely did not engage in? And what is the behavior that he did engage in that may have been misconstrued and what was truthful? Can you just walk us through that?

GLAVIN: Okay. Yes. So one thing though, too, when I said, I thought you were yelling, it may be that my earpiece volume is very loud. BROWN: That can happen.

GLAVIN: Okay. Look on some of these things, he has said without question that he hugs people. He will touch people's arms. He will touch people's backs. With respect to the woman, one of the 11 was a healthcare worker and he was on national television and he was getting a COVID test and she was dressed in a gown with the N95 mask, and she also had the face shield.

And his attempt at humor was saying, "You make that gown look good." And he said that publicly. And he spoke with her either before or after and just said, "Don't have the Q-tip go up into my brain." And she said, "We are gentle, but precise," I think. And he said, "Gentle, but precise. I've heard that before." That's not sexual harassment, but she is included as one of the 11.

And with respect again, the wedding, that's not sexual harassment. There's a woman who worked for him by the name of "Caitlin." And she talks about that she had a photo with him at an event and he put her in a dance pose. And there's lots of photos from that event and it made her uncomfortable. But she is not accusing him of sexual harassment. She said she felt uncomfortable when he asked her to help him with his computer one day because he was looking up something on Google and she came over and she felt he was looking at her and it made her uncomfortable. That's not sexual.

BROWN: ... kind of expert in heels.

GLAVIN: Yes, that's not sexual harassment.

BROWN: Let me just -- again, because you are the Governor's attorney, I have to also represent what the victims say and have said in this report that I've read through and how they feel and they felt really uncomfortable. They felt violated.

Can you see how they may have felt that way with the Governor who is in such a big position of power to someone who has a lower level staffer?


BROWN: Can you see why they would feel that way?

GLAVIN: Yes, absolutely.

BROWN: Does the Governor acknowledge that?

GLAVIN: Absolutely.

BROWN: Does the Governor acknowledge --

GLAVIN: Oh, absolutely. Here is one other thing --

BROWN: So then they say he doesn't -- I guess because the Governor has repeatedly said he has never touched anyone inappropriately, but you said he has hugged people and so forth. They said that was inappropriate. So can you --

GLAVIN: Here is the thing, from his perspective, and I do think you're going to hear this from him. He didn't believe it was inappropriate. He has seen what these woman have said and I know that he feels badly about this.


And you are absolutely correct, Pamela, that he is the Governor of the State of New York and you do have to appreciate when you are in a position of power and you have younger staffers and the way he may have treated people he's had longer relationships, he's got to act differently. He said that repeatedly.

And he's also talked about how he does slip at times. He's not perfect. But, yes, I get it.

BROWN: He does slip. When you say he does slip, what do you mean by that?

GLAVIN: Oh, he said it in his video statements, which is that he does make the mistake. He will say darling, he will say sweetheart, he does ask people questions about their personal lives. He didn't think that that was improper. I do know, I mean, and let me reference this, Sen. Schumer you look in the New York Times article from 2012, he routinely is talking to staffers about their personal lives, are you married, why don't you marry him, when are you going to have kids.

But the Governor does engage in that as well and ...

BROWN: Well, let me ask you this ...

GLAVIN: And I agree with you it can ...

BROWN: Let me ask you this - go ahead.

GLAVIN: ... but let me just finish in this.

BROWN: Sure.

GLAVIN: I agree with you, it can make people uncomfortable. I've had a lot of conversations. Now I'm a lawyer, I have associates who work with me in their 20s or 30s and they've told me these things. This makes me uncomfortable and I think that the governor has heard this loud and clear.

BROWN: Well, but there are different things that the report lays out, for example, telling one of the sexual assault survivor Charlotte Bennett saying to her, and he's 63 years old, saying I would date someone who's over the age of 22. I mean, she was 25. Is that appropriate? Is that appropriate conduct for a governor to be engaging in what the younger staffer who's also a victim of sexual assault?

GLAVIN: You're assuming with respect to Charlotte Bennett that he actually said that and the Governor gave very ...

BROWN: According to the report.

GLAVIN: ... according to the report that we now know the report got issues wrong. So let me just talk a little bit though about Charlotte Bennett, because that situation is one that is very, very personal to him. The Governor's relationship with Charlotte Bennett, he actually cared for her great deal. There was no romantic interest.

Ms. Bennett's experience that she shared with him one day was and I'm going to be careful here, it was eerily, eerily similar to a very, very close family member of the Governor who is the same age as Charlotte Bennett. He would not have said to Charlotte Bennett that he would date someone as young as 22.

What the Governor told the Attorney General's office is that Ms. Bennett around the time at the beginning of COVID when he was giving the briefings and he was getting all types of propositions from women on social media, Ms. Bennett came to his office and said that she had been looking at a social media accounts and all these women want to date you.

This was a running joke, not only within the Governor's family, but amongst his staff. This is when they were calling people Cuomo sexuals and so the Governor did joke about it. Find me a candidate, find me a good one, not in the sense that he wanted to date Charlotte Bennett who he was concerned about for a number of reasons based on personal conversation she had with him.

And I don't want to go further out of privacy to Ms. Bennet, but the Governor spoke in great detail about this and about his interactions with her to the Attorney General's investigators and they didn't put it in the report.


GLAVIN: And it couldn't have been more important because I do think it gives very much context. But Gov. Cuomo has tremendous respect for Charlotte Bennett. He knows because of what happened to his very, very close family member who is about the same age as Charlotte ...


GLAVIN: ... And he never would have done anything to have her ever believe he had a romantic interest in her. He wanted to help and it's (inaudible) clearly he didn't.

BROWN: And I just want to be clear, and I let you talk there and Charlotte Bennett's lawyer did release a statement yesterday saying that the report speaks for itself and how she felt. So as we go through these allegations and what these women have said, there are varied accounts and different levels of seriousness with this alleged behavior.

But why should people listen to you the government's lawyer over these 11 accusers? The report states the Governor's denials lack credibility, persuasiveness and details compared to the accusers accounts that investigators say were corroborated with other witnesses and contemporaneous notes of the alleged encounters.


Why should people listen to you?

GLAVIN: How is executive assistant one's account corroborated?

BROWN: It's corroborated because she saw the Governor speaking and started crying when he said he didn't engage in inappropriate behavior. And so she told two other staffers at the time what happened and that was in the report. And I didn't, by the way, say ...

GLAVIN: This was five months after she alleged this happen.

BROWN: OK. So did that undermine her story in your view?

GLAVIN: And this was at a time ...

BROWN: Does that undermine her story that she waited five months?

GLAVIN: What undermines her story is that there is absolutely no corroboration at the time. She didn't even tell her best friends.

BROWN: But you know victims don't always tell people right away.

GLAVIN: I agree. I agree.

BROWN: The Governor issued a - didn't he signed a law in 2019 extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault victims?

GLAVIN: Absolutely. And we understand that she's made clear and made clear in March that she intended to file some type of a civil lawsuit for damages. What I can tell you is the only - I'm sorry, what I can tell you is the only corroboration is that five and a half months later that she was upset when he said he never touched anyone inappropriately.

What I can tell you is I have looked at the logs in November. I shouldn't say the logs, there are records, there are pin records and have not identified a date of which she is talking about and there are at least three people that testified to the Attorney General's office about motives with respect to this particular woman perhaps to have made this up and they were not included in the Attorney General's report.

BROWN: OK. And ...

GLAVIN: The issue here is that - no, I want to touch it ...

BROWN: ... the AG saw it, hold on, with an investigator that you worked with in SDNY found ...

GLAVIN: Absolutely.

BROWN: ... them credible along with the other investigators. So why did these investigators, one of which you worked with very closely, find her credible though?

GLAVIN: So let me just talk a little bit about this. Yes. I worked in the U.S. Attorney's office with Joon Kim. I've actually known him for many, many years. One of the problems here is that I think that the investigators that Leticia James selected came in with the bias.

Of the hundreds of former federal prosecutors you could have picked in New York to do this investigation, Mr. Kim was investigating Gov. Cuomo while at the U.S. Attorney's Office for about five years. He investigated the shutting down of the Moreland Commission. He investigated Percoco and was involved in the prosecution of Percoco. And Mr. Kim also personally interviewed, while he was in U.S.A., he personally interviewed the governor and he formed a very negative impression of the Governor and his office.

And I would note that when Mr. Kim left his role as Acting U.S. Attorney, there was a New York Times article on January 22, 2018 and what Mr. Kim said was that one of his disappointments is that after spending years of trying to make cases against Albany politicians, he couldn't affect change in Albany through the U.S. Attorney's Office.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Kim's approach to this investigation was colored by his involvement in a five-year investigation of the Governor.

BROWN: So you're saying he was biased. He was biased.

GLAVIN: Oh, absolutely. I think the lens ...

BROWN: You're saying he's biased and therefore their assessments cannot be trusted.

GLAVIN: I think that their assessments - well, let's look at it this way, they're the ones that said that November 16th was the date. And they said it twice in the report and Ms. Clark was definitive about it in the press conference, can you trust their conclusions? And hold on, let me just finish. There's two more points I want to make on this. Two more points I want to make on this.

With respect to Lindsey Boylan, they credited Lindsey Boylan, OK? And this is a woman who - and she claimed that the Governor on a plane made a comment let's play strip poker. Every single person that was on that claim, on the plane said that that did not happen. And then what did Ms. Boylan do? And this is in the report. This is in the report.

Ms. Boylan sent to Howard Zemsky, her former boss at ESD, a disparaging message that he considered 'jarring' and 'threatening'.

BROWN: But they didn't include what that was and you have made that point ...


BROWN: You made that yesterday that they didn't include what the threat was.

GLAVIN: No, but let - hold on, can I finish? Yes, can I finish this?

BROWN: I've let you speak for long time, go ahead.

GLAVIN: He then changed - well, you've asked me a lot of questions. If you want me as a guest on your show. I have to say ...

BROWN: I have. I have but you said you want to make two more points that were not what you were just talking about and I do need to represent the AG side, because we have a statement from them ...

GLAVIN: They actually ...

BROWN: ... but go ahead.

GLAVIN: ... no, but they actually - I got to make the points because you're saying why is the report bias.


Why do they choose to believe Lindsey Boylan when she threatened a witness? Did they even look at potential witness tampering and then he changed the story? What was the threat that Ms. Boylan made and why didn't they include it in the report?

The last point I want to make to you is that why didn't they include in the report discussions that took place between Lindsey Boylan's campaign and the Attorney General's Office shortly after tweets were made in December of 2020? There were conversations between Lindsey Boyland's top political consultant, Trip Yang, and the Attorney General's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Khan. And they discussed Ms. Boylan's allegations. They discussed the campaign. They discussed Mr. Yang's opinion of them.

There was also a press person that left - no, because this point is important because you (inaudible) ...

BROWN: You made it yesterday during (inaudible) press conference.

GLAVIN: Yes. And I'm going to make it again today because it's an important one and people need to understand this, that what were those discussions, what did Trip Yang have to say why was Ibrahim Khan talking with Trip Yang who also was a political consultant for Letitia James.

But in addition to that, her top media consultant quit after these allegations were made. Was she asked what discussion she had with Lindsey Boylan? Was the Lindsey Boylan campaign for their email correspondence during this time and their text about what Ms. Boylan was saying that would have impacted on her credibility and I'm betting you that they did not. So was there biasness? Yes.

BROWN: And we just want to be clear too, we've been reaching out with follow up questions to the AG's office. We're waiting to find out what they have to say.

GLAVIN: Great. BROWN: I understand you're raising issues with them, process issues,

you are raising these questions. But we do want to say in a statement to CNN, the AG's office said, "The independent investigator selected are widely respected, professionals recognized for their legal and investigatory ability to attack this investigation and attempt to undermine and politicize this process takes away from the bravery displayed by these women."

And I just want to ask on that note ...


BROWN: ... Gov. Cuomo had basically said, let this investigation continue. Let the facts speak for themselves and it will exonerate me. Now, it appears that you and him are moving the goalposts. This report is now out and now you're saying, well, it's not fair. It's not credible. What is the endgame here for you and Gov. Cuomo?

GLAVIN: Well, first of all, the goalpost hasn't been moved in any way, shape or form. Once a report comes out like this, you absolutely are entitled to take a look at it and see what is in there and what is not in there. And I got to tell you, I was shocked at what was missing in that report, that 179 people were interviewed and only 41 of those interviews were transcribed.

What did the under 138 people have to say how are those interviews memorialized, because I have been affirmatively told by a number of lawyers for witnesses in this case that when they offered information that was contradictory, I know of at least one witness that gave specific reasons why they believed Lindsey Boylan was lying. None of that was included in the report.

BROWN: OK, so ...

GLAVIN: ... but when there were witnesses that said they believe someone, they included that in the report and that's not right and that's not fair. The goalpost hasn't moved. You got to do the investigation right.

BROWN: The report is out and the investigators have said that your client sexually harassed 11 women. So now you're saying, well, this was not right and it wasn't fair. That's what I mean by moving the goalposts now that the report is out.

GLAVIN: Let me pose this question to you, Pamela, is it sexual ...

BROWN: I ask the questions here, Rita, go ahead.

GLAVIN: ... then you let me answer, but is it sexual harassment to kiss a woman at a wedding on the cheek? Is that sexual? Is that what we're going to impeach? So the endgame here ...

BROWN: Remember what you just said about the trooper, well, I have to wait and find the circumstances. According to this report, they said yes and they found all of the accusers credible here. But I want to just ask you, 86 assembly members said they support Gov. Cuomo being impeached.


BROWN: They only need 76.


BROWN: Will the Governor resign or is he going to continue this fight through an impeachment trial?

GLAVIN: So here's to the extent you're asking me about if he's going to resign, I am not aware of the Governor having plans to resign. What he is focused on right now is he has been offered the opportunity and he appreciates that. It was an opportunity he was not offered with respect to the Attorney General's report. But he's been offered the opportunity to give a submission or evidence to the assembly.

I've sent a letter to the assembly and I've also sent a letter to the Attorney General's office if they could please share with us the underlying evidence including all the records of the interviews of the 179 witnesses. We haven't been given anything.


And the issue is that we know that there are inaccuracies in that report just upon reading it and I'm being told from other lawyers in the case that there were things that clients said that didn't make it in the report that should have made it in. So I want to be able to respond and he's focused on that.

BROWN: OK. Rita, we'll be right back. Thanks so much.

GLAVIN: OK, Pamela.



BROWN: Let's return to our one-on-one conversation with Andrew Cuomo's personal attorney, Rita Glavin. Rita, thanks for spending the hour with us as we cover a lot of ground here and I think it's really important.

Really quick, I want to go back to executive assistant number one who you've talked about and you've raised questions about her story and her credibility.


BROWN: I want to listen to what the Sheriff in Albany said about her today. She has, of course, filed a criminal complaint. This is what the Sheriff said about her. Let's play it.



the Attorney General's report. I think we know what's in it. At this point, I'm very comfortable and safe saying that she is in fact the victim. And again, I commend all of them for coming forward.


BROWN: So I just want you to respond to that, because he said he feels very comfortable calling her a victim in this case. Will the Governor cooperate with investigators in Albany? Will he give a statement to the Sheriff's Office or will he plea the fifth? Can you give us any insight?

GLAVIN: I actually expect - well, look, first of all, the Sheriff's got to reach out to me and I'd like to see the complaint. But there is something that was a little that bothered me a bit about the Sheriff, so I understand the complaint was just made. And what he did, which I thought was interesting, was that we're going to do everything in our power to help her. And I think he also said, this is the hardest thing she's ever done in her life.

And that gives me a lot of pause that he hasn't done any investigation and he's drawn a conclusion. I also thought it was interesting that her lawyer chose to go to the Sheriff who I think is a politically elected official, as opposed to going to the Albany Police Department.

I don't know why that choice was made. I do wonder about the timing. My understanding is that when executive assistant one raised this first back in March, the Governor's counsel had a call with the Albany police department and refer this. And to my knowledge, she was never interviewed by the Albany Police Department or the District Attorney's Office.


GLAVIN: So I do wonder about the timing. But with respect to the sheriff, look, that is not how, when I was a prosecutor, that I would characterize it when he said he's just starting an investigation because that tells me he's already made up his mind.

BROWN: I want to ask you, you said some of what the woman has said was true.


BROWN: And we sort of went through the hugs and so forth and some of the things he said and how ...


BROWN: ... and we know from this report that the women felt uncomfortable at the very least and violated, these were other words that were used in the report. Is it safe to characterize your defense as the Governor may have sexually harassed some of these women, but he didn't do it intentionally. In other words, he may have done it but didn't know he was doing it. GLAVIN: Look, I don't want to get in and go through the elements of

sexual harassment. But what I know for sure is that absolutely, the governor is a hugger, the governor will kiss people, he does call people darling, he does people sweetheart and it's very clear to him and he does feel badly that any of the people that worked for him felt that he was invading their space and that it was unwanted. I do know that.

And one thing is - I also want to raise another point on this, the report points out that he was treating some of these women that way and it was gender based. They interviewed a number of men that work for the Governor. And the men said, yes, he comments upon our appearance and he hugs and he kisses us as well.

I don't think that the Governor was necessarily singling out certain people for attention. But Pamela you do raise a point and I take that point and he does too, that people feel uncomfortable and you can't get around hugging and kissing everybody and I think part of him ...

BROWN: Right. And just to clear - oh, go ahead.

GLAVIN: Yes. No, and part of it too for him, it's politicians and political life. He's outside every single day and we see this with every politician, they're out hugging, they're kissing and people - no, but I think some of that can carry into because he tries to be warm in the office.

BROWN: This is a lot more. The report clearly lays out much more inappropriate hugging, hugging closely, initiating and even though, according to the report, he says he's more of the reciprocator. He, according to the report, initiated on several occasions close hugs.

I mean, you can tell this is cultural differences, this is generational, but the bottom line is he's the Governor of a State hugging, lower level staffers. And the difference between men and women, the trooper made clear in this report, and I know you don't want to talk about the trooper, we're waiting to hear from the Governor, that the way he treated her and what he said about her and her clothing, the way he touched her, the way he asked her to kiss her that that was not something she ever saw with any men that that was unique to her.

GLAVIN: Here's the other thing, I know that they interviewed a number of other troopers and that is why I really want to see what the interviews are, because some of the information I have is other troopers had things to say about how the Governor acted that I think were actually favorable to him and none of that was included.


You only have two within there. And so part of the problem here and it's hard - look, this is hard for me because I'm a trial lawyer, I'm a criminal defense lawyer, I'm a former federal prosecutor. What normally happens for me is that when I have a case and somebody has been accused, they turn over the evidence to me and I can go through it and they have an obligation under the Constitution to provide you with any evidence that is exculpatory or favorable to your client. In this particular circumstance ...

BROWN: Right. And that's in a criminal proceeding. This is a civil report, but OK.

GLAVIN: Yes. But don't you think ...

BROWN: We do have to go, Rita.

GLAVIN: ... that that would be important. OK.

BROWN: You've let your concerns be known on the show. The issues you've had with the Attorney General's investigatory process. Rita Glavin, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it.

GLAVIN: Pam, thank you. And thank you for your very targeted questioning.

BROWN: Thank you. I just tried to do my homework before I do interview. Thanks so much, Rita.

GLAVIN: And you did an excellent job. Thank you.

BROWN: Thank you.


BROWN: When we come back, I'll speak to Yuh-Line Niou, a New York State Assembly Member where the impeachment investigation into the Governor is close to concluding. We'll be right back.