Aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called former staff members to solicit information on the women who accused him of sexual harassment, The Wall Street Journal reports. Six former staffers told the Journal they received calls. “I felt intimidated, and I felt bewildered,” said Ana Liss, who also accused the governor of inappropriate behavior earlier this month. Liss said a senior adviser to Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, called her in late December just after the first allegations against Cuomo emerged. Azzopardi attempted to justify the actions in a statement: “After Ms. Boylan’s tweets in December, she, and her lawyers and members of the press began reaching out to former members of the Chamber, many of whom never worked with her. Those former members of the Chamber called to let various staff people know and convey that they were upset by the outreach. As a result, we proactively reached out to some former colleagues to check in and make sure they had a heads up.” Another former employee said the governor’s office implied they wanted information that might discredit an accuser. Cuomo has apologized in response to the allegations, which range in severity, but denied that his behavior constituted misconduct. He has defied calls to resign but now faces an investigation from the state attorney general and an impeachment inquiry from the state legislature.
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