What to Know About Chris Cuomo's Role in the Unfolding Andrew Cuomo Sexual Harassment Scandal

Investigators found that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women" and, in doing so, "violated federal and state law," during an independent investigation

Christopher Cuomo; Andrew Cuomo
Photo: Dominik Bindl/WireImage; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

While eyes remain on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo amid his sexual harassment scandal, many can't help but question what role his brother, Chris Cuomo, will continue to play as the event continues to unfold.

On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an independent investigation into harassment allegations against Andrew, 63, had concluded, with the investigators finding that the governor "sexually harassed multiple women" and, in doing so, "violated federal and state law."

In a press conference, James, 62, said the investigation found that Andrew engaged in "unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and making inappropriate comments" with both current and former New York state employees.

She added that the actions "created a hostile work environment for women," and said that the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee who came forward with her story.

The report released by the attorney general's office offered new details about how Chris, 50, advised his brother as the allegations began to surface. According to emails and text messages made public by investigators Tuesday, Chris was among those who developed talking points and strategies for the governor as accusations first began to threaten Andrew in February.

Emails included in the report show that Chris was copied or mentioned in messages regarding Gov. Cuomo's first denials of the harassment claims.

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo. CNN

Chris has so far remained mum on the investigation's findings, not even mentioning the scandal whatsoever on his show, Cuomo Prime Time, later that same night, according to Mediaite.

Instead, the CNN journalist began by covering the COVID-19 pandemic, chatting with Surgeon General Jerome Adams, as he finished his segment by highlighting another police officer who committed suicide at the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, the outlet said.

CNN, however, covered the scandal all throughout the afternoon and into the evening, the network reported, despite Chris' lack of acknowledgment during his own series on the channel.

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Andrew Cuomo; Chris Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Speaking with CNN, some staffers of the network told the outlet that they were supportive of Chris' involvement and staying on as host of the series, while others felt quite differently, as seen in statements given to BuzzFeed News.

Speaking anonymously in order to chat freely without consequence, one staffer told the publication, "I think that, as journalists, it's our responsibility to act in the most responsible possible way, not only to maintain journalistic integrity, but also for the public to regain trust in journalism and television news."

"And the fact that Chris Cuomo wasn't fired over his inappropriate conflict of interest in actively affecting a news story is not only irresponsible of CNN, but also a disgrace to journalism," they added.

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In May, Chris apologized on-air and acknowledged his "unique" situation of being both a news anchor and the sibling of the high-profile politician after reports revealed he advised his brother on the sexual harassment allegations made against the New York governor.

The controversy centers on the widely-followed media policy that journalists should not have conflicts of interest with the subject they're reporting on. "It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot," Chris said during Cuomo Prime Time. "I never intended for that. I would never intend for that. And I am sorry for that."

Prior to Chris' apology, The Washington Post reported earlier that day that he participated in "a series of conference calls" with his brother, the governor's top aides and strategists, and lawyers about how to politically navigate the allegations. "I understand why that was a problem for CNN," Chris said at the top of his show at the time. "It will not happen again."

Chris had also previously announced on his show in early March that he would step back from coverage of his brother, while CNN would continue to report on the allegations. That announcement came amid criticism that the Cuomo brothers' relationship was blurring the lines of journalistic ethics for the network.

Representatives for Chris Cuomo did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. A CNN spokeswoman has previously said Chris did not affect the network's coverage of his brother.

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