CNN has “indefinitely” suspended anchor Chris Cuomo after new documents emerged this week detailing assistance he provided to his older brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid the sexual harassment allegations that eventually led to the governor’s resignation.
“The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvements in his brother’s defense,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”
The documents and transcripts, which were released Monday by the office of state Attorney General Tish James, suggest that Chris Cuomo, who served as an informal adviser to his brother, was more intimately involved with the former governor’s defense than was previously disclosed. Testimony from mid-July showed the TV anchor was in touch with the governor’s top aides and advisers at the height of the sexual harassment scandal — assisting his brother’s office with crafting official statements and researching potential news coverage.
When it was reported earlier this year that the younger Cuomo had participated in strategy sessions with his brother and top aides, CNN said although “it was inappropriate” to engage in these conversations, Chris Cuomo would not be disciplined for his involvement.
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday. “But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second.”
“However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” the network said.
Chris Cuomo hasn’t directly addressed the newly released documents or his suspension. But he did allude to the situation on his SiriusXM radio show earlier Tuesday without addressing his role in assisting the former governor.
“I did not want [Andrew] to resign in the beginning, because I believed him, and I thought that you don’t resign, you ask for due process,” Chris Cuomo said on his radio show. “... But eventually, when there wasn’t gonna be due process, and his party was against him, then he had no choice because he couldn’t do the work of the state anymore.”