At first, they were clamoring for a fair and independent investigation to get to the truth.
Now, before the investigation has even started, many of those same people want an immediate guilty verdict.
They can’t have it both ways.
State Attorney General Letitia James on Monday received the authority to move forward with a probe into allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo that he sexually harassed two women in his administration.
These allegations are very serious, and could very well lead to Cuomo being forced to resign or even be removed from office.
But it’s unfair and unjust to move forward with a verdict without even giving the attorney general a chance to look into the allegations, to review statements and to question witnesses for both sides.
Hating Cuomo or seeing political opportunity in his demise is no justification for a rush to judgment.
What if it turns out the governor was indeed guilty of the allegations for which he is accused? The victims have a right to justice and the public has a right to know. There should be no lingering doubts.
Or what if it turns out the governor did not do or say the things of which he is accused? Is it right that he should be forced out of office without even being given a chance to have the allegations against him thoroughly investigated?
Aren’t there cases in which public officials have been wrongfully accused or for which the punishment was inappropriate?
What if there’s some conduct that’s exposed during the investigation that further implicates the governor in other violations of law or policy? What if the investigation unearths other victims? If they call it off now, none of that may ever come to light.
One might argue that the alleged victims should automatically be believed and that they wouldn’t have put themselves in this position had they not been telling the truth.
But looking at this through a political lens, that was the same discussion that took place over the sexual assault allegations brought against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh two years ago.
Democrats and crime victims advocates then argued that his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, should be believed and wouldn’t have put herself through the ordeal if she wasn’t telling the truth.
Republicans and other Kavanaugh supporters argued that just because someone brings allegations doesn’t make them true or provable.
This situation is no less political.
Since her election in 2018, Attorney General James has demonstrated admirable vigor and independence in her investigations.
Her recent release of a report highly critical of the Cuomo administration’s handling of the covid nursing home response demonstrates her independence from the governor.
Let her and her office perform the task they were given and let it reach a full and complete conclusion.
Then let the chips fall where they may.