On September 29, 2021, Team Cuomo posed 10 important questions to New York State AG Letitia James. These questions refer to conversations between the AG’s office and Lindsey Boylan’s campaign consultant and James’s refusal to release transcripts or video recordings of the Governor’s testimony to him or the public.
We have more questions to Letitia James and her Investigators. These are the first ten:
Q1: Why are you ignoring the statements of 3 witnesses corroborating the Governor while believing the only one witness who doesn’t – and only after being threatened by the accuser?
The report mentions (p. 71) that Boylan threatened Zemksy into changing his story to support her story. Nonetheless, Zemksy’s testimony after he was threatened is used against Cuomo in the conclusion. The 3 other witnesses do NOT corroborate Boylan’s claim. “They never heard the Governor make any comment about “strip poker”.
On page 76 you state , Zemksy was independently corroborating Boylan. Do you think changing one’s recollection of events after being threatened can be called “independently”? Why is this one witness more credible than all three other witnesses who are consistent in their recollection of events and have not been threatened? Why are you ok with witness tampering and intimidation, which is illegal?
Q2: Did you ask Brittany Commisso why she told you a completely different story than she told Times Union?
In her TU interview on April 7, 2021, she claimed that she was called in to fix a “technical issue with his mobile phone”. She claimed he groped her the moment she entered his office. However, in her testimony (report p. 24) with the investigators her story is a different one. Specifically, she testified that one of her tasks was to take a photo of a document (she was at the Executive Mansion for three hours). Additionally, she testified that the incident occurred when she was leaving. The report acknowledges that her story varies regarding the timing of when he closed the door, albeit this is buried in a footnote and disregarded.
With all these inconsistencies in her ever-changing story, why do you feel you don’t need to verify her account of what happened that day?
Q3: Why are you hiding witness statements contradicting your narrative in footnotes?
Trooper #1 claims that Cuomo asked her about her attire when she drove him to an event. A Detail Commander was also in the car, who allegedly later sent a message saying “stays in the truck”. But the Detail Commander does not corroborate Trooper#1’s statement. Buried in footnote # 257, p. 36.
Trooper #1 claims Cuomo ran his finger down her spine and said “hey you” when she was in the elevator in front of him. Similarly, as above, the Senior Investigator who was also in the elevator, did not corroborate this story. Buried in footnote # 287), p. 39.
You are using holiday party photos of the Governor with McGrath and Commisso as evidence for sexual harassment. Contrary to what the accuser says, a witness told you she believes both women wanted to take these pictures and were proud of them. Buried in footnote # 123, p. 20.
Q4: Why are you adding vague accounts of situations without details and witness statements?
On page 24 the report states: “we learned during our interviews that Governor Cuomo had asked two other women in the Executive Chamber, on separate occasions, to take a selfie with him and then instructed each woman to send the selfie to a different woman in the Executive Chamber.” It omits any further information as evidence, not even a quote, regarding this matter. How did you “learn” about this and from whom? These women? The accusers? Is it hearsay? Did you fact-check?
On the same page, the report describes an incident during which Cuomo compared heights with Commisso and put his head on hers, then making a comment to “everyone in their room” that he was taller. Who is “everybody in the room” and why does nothing indicate that you interviewed them as witnesses?
On page 48 of the report we read that one day Cuomo asked Bennett why her hair was in a bun, which triggered her to yell at him “you don’t like my bun?!” and to yell to the other assistants “he doesn’t like my bun”. As witnesses, you refer to people whom she texted and told about the incident. Why are you not referring to the eye and earwitnesses, namely the other assistants mentioned? Did you ask them about the incident? Did they remember? What is their assessment of Cuomo’s and Bennett’s behavior?
Don’t you think this makes the impression that you are trying to substantiate the narrative of your report by adding unproven stories?
Q5: Why are you misrepresenting the circumstances of Trooper#1’s Transfer?
According to you report – based on Trooper #1’s allegations – Governor Cuomo handpicked her to work in the Protective Services Unit close to him after he briefly met her. Furthermore, you insinuate that he requested special accommodations to promote her because she did not meet the three-year-service requirement. In addition, you write that this was substantiated by Senior Investigator #1, who was involved in her transfer. However, you contradict yourself within your own report.
There were several Trooper’s on the bridge, and it appears from the photos of this event, three of them were women. On page 33 of you write that after the press conference she and the Senior Investigator led the Governor’s car to Randall’s Island. Everyone then got out of their cars, and this is how she met him. Consequently, it was the Senior Investigator who picked this specific Trooper over other females.
On page 34 you write also, that the Senior Investigator suggested to the Governor to hire Trooper #1 for the PSU, because she was impressed with her performance at the event and in order to increase diversity on the team. Internal State Police emails which you completely dismiss state clearly that she was promoted based on performance, at the same time as another trooper with the same amount of experience.
Moreover, the Trooper was hired on March 2, 2015, and transferred on January 25, 2018. She was only missing 5 weeks from fulfilling the 3-year requirement. There was no reason to change the policy from three years to two years for her. It would have been much easier and without the risk of raising questions to just wait 5 more weeks if this transfer was unusual. However, it is common practice to waive such negligible time requirements to fill vacant positions.
Did you ask Alyssa McGrath why she was jealous of Brittany Commisso’s Selfie with Cuomo and wanted to be photoshopped in?
McGrath claims Cuomo harassed her in early 2019 when he asked about her necklace and said something to her in Italian. She claims he made her feel uncomfortable. Yet, on December 31, 2019, her response to Commisso sending her the selfie with Cuomo was: “Um where is my pic!! I’m officially jealous!!! I need to be photoshopped in to the right of him 🤣 Love this so much”. Exhibit 25 – Screenshot. Why are you writing in your assessment (p. 81) that you find her credible based on “the level of detail and consistency in the substance of her allegations”?
Q7: Why is the only transcript you provided only an attempt to capture the conversation and not necessarily accurate?
Exhibit # 35 is a transcript of a phone conversation between Cuomo and Bennett. You write that it is “an attempt to best capture the substance of the conversations. The exact words reflected in the transcript may not always be accurate. ” What does this mean for all other transcripts? How can anyone rely on those?
Moreover, you write in the report on p. 49 that Cuomo starts the call with singing the chorus of a song by an old band called the “Contours” which is “Do You Love Me”. The transcript as well as the recording disprove this. On the contrary, the call starts with introductions, and then he sings “are you ready” (for dictation), to the melody of this chorus. He only used the actual chorus after she told him she doesn’t know the song. What does this mean for the everything else in the report? How can your representations be trusted?
Q8: Did you have experts checking devices and documents provided to you?
You repeatedly write you received “copies” of evidence. A “copy” of Commisso’s selfie, a “copy” of the photograph which was dated November 16, 2020, a “copy” of the email State Entity Employee #1 sent to herself. State Entity Employee #1 also provided you with “screenshots” of text messages. A lot of evidence is screenshots of text messages. Did the accusers provide these screenshots to you or did you take them yourself from the devices?
Are you aware how easy it is to create and manipulate screenshots? Anyone can change contact names and dates to create text messages, call records, or emails anytime to fabricate “evidence”. Did you simply accept what accusers gave to you,? Did you obtain their devices and have digital forensic experts check them? Did you request phone records to see if there was additional communication between accusers?
Q9: Did you even make an effort to fact check Virginia Limmiatis’ story?
Limmiatis (who is not a state employee and should not be in your report at all) claims she was in a rope line at an event. Cuomo passed, slid the fingers of his right hand across her chest and leaned in so that their cheeks were touching. Evidence shows Limmiatis’ claims are completely false (Photos). There is no rope line. He is not touching her. His right hand is far away. She has her hand on his shoulder. How could you not see this? Or did you and this is the reason you did not add photos as evidence? How can we trust that anything else in your report is true?
Q10: Did you ask the accusers to clarify the following?
- What groin stretches were Commisso and McGrath doing at work, why, and what exactly did Cuomo say to this uncommon behavior at a workplace that they interpreted as “suggestive”?
- Why does Commisso have her hand around Cuomo’s neck and is leaning her head against him seconds after he harassed her?
- Why does Liss think she was moved to be closer to Cuomo when she was moved into Howard Glaser’s office, her immediate supervisor, at Glaser’s request?
- Why does Boylan think handshakes are weird, creepy and equates them to rape?
- Why does Bennett not differentiate between the concepts of “hanging out” and “sleeping” with somebody? Why does she associate hands with genitals?
Learn more about problems with this investigation and the report HERE.