Calls for an investigation into Attorney General Letitia James’ handling of harassment allegations against her chief of staff intensified on Tuesday — her former Republican challenger called for a special prosecutor and even a senior Democratic agent who said she should be investigated.
Attorney Michael Henry, whom James beat on November 8 to win a second term, said Ibrahim Khan’s accusers and the public “deserve responses and accountability” from “everyone, possibly including Letitia James, who made his conduct possible.” .
“Reg. Kathy Hochul must appoint a special attorney to investigate Letitia James’ cover-up of a serious scandal involving inappropriate touching and sexual harassment during the election,” Henry told the Post.
“Why didn’t she or anyone in the office call the police even though at least one of the allegations involved inappropriate touching? It seems that her political career was more important than protecting a victim.”
Veteran Democratic political adviser Hank Sheinkopf also said the scandal surrounding Khan – who resigned on Friday – was “very damaging to the attorney general because of the time lag” before it surfaced last week.
“James didn’t debate her opponent before the election and that could be why,” Sheinkopf said.
“There should be an external investigation into this case and its handling. Otherwise people will question the Attorney General’s integrity.”
Referring to James’ own investigation into the sexual harassment allegations that forced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign last year, Sheinkopf also said the Khan scandal “should be handled the same way.”
“There has to be an independent investigation or we lose confidence in their ability to get the job done,” he said.
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing and said he resigned to avoid a costly impeachment trial that would have crippled the state government and “brutalized people”.
John Kaehny of good government group Reinvent Albany stopped calling for an investigation into James but said the situation was “obviously highly ironic and disappointing”.
Kaehny also said the schedule that James’ office released Monday night did not provide enough information to reassure the public that they had properly handled the matter.
This timeline showed that on October 4, James hired the Littler Mendelson law firm to investigate the allegations against Khan.
“Did they do a fair job in being completely transparent about everything that happened here? No,” Kaehny said.
“They should, while respecting the privacy of the complainants, put together a timeline and explanation of absolutely everything that happened and leave nothing out.”
Also on Tuesday, US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) of Glens Falls, the powerful chair of the House of Representatives Republican Conference, said: “New Yorkers deserve to know when Letitia James knew of the illegal misconduct of their officers and why she did.” this egregious covert sexual harassment by voters until after the election.”
Outgoing State Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River), who defeated Cold Spring Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) last month, also said that “James rightly held Governor Cuomo and his administration accountable for his conduct.” and their handling of allegations of sexual harassment.”
“She should hold herself to the same standard,” he said. “The Attorney General must promptly and clearly ask questions about what she knew, when she knew it, and why she was withholding information that the public had a right to know.”
The comments came a day after several GOP state legislators called on legislative committees to investigate James, with Rep. Kieran Michael Lalor (R-Fishkill) saying that “New Yorkers have a right to know if the state’s top law enforcement officer alleging sexual harassment, covered it up or delayed addressing it in order to win an election.”
A Hochul spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the governor’s comments on Monday, saying the facts surrounding the scandal were “still unfolding”.
A James spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but her office said it treats all allegations of misconduct “with the utmost seriousness, and this situation is no different.”
Additional reporting by Zach Williams
https://nypost.com/2022/12/06/critics-demand-probe-of-ny-ag-letitia-james/ Critics call for NY AG investigation into Letitia James