NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Assembly Judiciary Committee started considering articles of impeachment against Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday and pledged to hold public hearings in the governor’s sexual harassment scandal.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, it came after one of Cuomo’s top aides announced her resignation and the former executive assistant who accused him of groping her spoke publicly about the allegations for the first time.READ MORE: Watch CBS2's Candidate Conversation With New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
Brittany Commisso didn’t think she’d ever speak publicly about what she says happened to her inside the executive mansion in Albany at the hands, quite literally, of Gov. Cuomo, her boss.
Watch Jessica Layton’s Report
“To me this was a dream job, and unfortunately, it turned into a nightmare,” Commisso said in an exclusive interview with CBS This Morning‘s Jericka Duncan.
A nightmare, where the person she was afraid of was her boss, who she says hugged her, kissed her, and groped her.
Commisso said the first time Cuomo groped her was at the mansion on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2019. While working on his State of the State speech, she said Cuomo asked her to take a selfie.
WATCH: Cuomo Accuser Brittany Commisso Speaks Out
“I then felt, while taking the selfie, his hand go down my back, onto my butt, and he started rubbing it. Not sliding it. Not, you know, quickly brushing over it. Rubbing my butt,” Commisso said.
“And did you ask him ‘What are you doing?'” Duncan asked.
“Well, this was while I was taking the selfie. I became so nervous that my hands were shaking…. He said ‘Oh, those aren’t any good… why don’t we sit on the couch, and we can take a better one,'” Commisso said.
It was one of two instances of inappropriate touching she described to Duncan. The alleged second groping incident happened in November 2020.
“It was probably the most sexually aggressive manner than any of the other hugs he had given me,” Commisso said. “It was then that I said, ‘You know, governor, you’re’ – my words were – ‘you’re going to get us in trouble’ … I was terrified.”
“He put his hand down my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra. I exactly remember looking down and seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself ‘Oh my God, this is happening.’ It happened so quick,” she said.
WATCH: Attorney General Letitia James Releases Report Finding Gov. Andrew Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women
Commisso is 32, married, a mother and one of 11 women who accuse the governor of sexual misconduct. She filed a criminal complaint against Cuomo with the Albany county sheriff because, according to her, she wants Cuomo brought to justice.
“What he did to me is a crime. He broke the law,” she said.
The governor, who refuses to resign, staunchly denied the accusations.READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Doubles Down On Municipal Workers Vaccine Mandate: 'We Have Contingency Plans In Place'
“This just did not happen,” Cuomo said, denying he ever touched anyone inappropriately.
“That was just the tipping point,” Commisso said. “I broke down, you know. I said, he’s lying.”
“With respect to Brittany Commisso, it just did not happen,” said Cuomo’s attorney Rita Glavin. “What is shocking to me is that the attorney general’s report, which everyone is relying on and saying is the bible of truth here, got it wrong.”
Four district attorneys in New York have opened investigations into the alleged sexual misconduct, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported. They follow a scathing report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who said Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.
WATCH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Reacts To Report Saying He Sexually Harassed Women
The AG’ s report identified top aide Melissa DeRosa as one of the people who helped create a hostile work environment and spearheaded the campaign to question the credibility of Cuomo’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan.
DeRosa resigned Sunday night.
Boylan, meanwhile, published a lengthy essay on Medium, where she made it clear she intends to be the second of the nearly a dozen women accusing the governor of sexual harassment to go to court.
“I intend to sue the governor and others who were involved in these efforts to smear me,” she wrote.
On Monday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee had a lengthy meeting in executive session to hear evidence against the governor as it prepares sweeping articles of impeachment, which are expected to go well beyond sexual harassment.
“One hundred years from now, 200 years from now, people will look back at this and people will say ‘Did they do the right thing?’ Our intention… is to do what is right,” said Assemblyman Charles Levine, chair of the Judiciary Committee.
The articles are expected to include whether the governor lied about the number of COVID related nursing home deaths, possible use of state resources for a $5 million book deal, and if he prioritized COVID testing for family and friends.
Lawmakers gave Cuomo until Friday to submit a defense.
“The governor has clearly lost the confidence of the majority of members of the New York State Assembly,” said Speaker Carl Heastie, once a close confidante of Cuomo.
WATCH: Lawmakers Discuss Possible Impeachment Process
A source close Cuomo told Kramer the governor is trying to find a way to avoid impeachment and that he’s hoping to cut a deal if he can find enough friendly lawmakers.
“Everyone’s pushing the governor to resign based on a report that has not been vetted,” Glavin said. “And the governor should be allowed to see the evidence and give a fulsome submission, which we aren’t being allowed to do.
Two people who tried to help the governor may be in trouble, too. The Human Rights Campaign has hired lawyers to investigate the actions of its current head, Alphonso David, who is Cuomo’s former counsel. Roberta Kaplan, chair of Time’s Up and its legal defense fund, has resigned over her ties to the case.MORE NEWS: New York City Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Meet For First Debate
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.