Texts, transcripts show that Chris Cuomo played a major role in the early defense of his brother

CNN host Chris Cuomo was more deeply involved in formulating a defense strategy when his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, responded to allegations of sexual harassment, according to detailed records released Monday by the New York Attorney General’s office.

The records, part of a crowd of exhibitions that, among other things text messages and emails as well as transcripts of his testimony, shows the host was in regular contact with some of his brother’s closest aides, including Melissa DeRosa, and repeatedly argued against the governor stepping down in the early days of the allegations of sexual harassment.

“Let me please help with the preparation,” Chris Cuomo wrote to DeRosa at some point in March.

Days later, after The New York Times published a report saying the then governor tried to give a woman an unwanted kiss at a wedding, DeRosa asked Chris Cuomo to “check your sources,” and encouraged the host to take advantage of his relationship as one of the country’s prominent journalists to help with his brother’s defense.

“On that,” Chris Cuomo replied at the time. At another point, he said he had been successful in trying to identify the woman at the wedding.

“I have a clue about the bridesmaid,” he wrote to DeRosa.

The messages add new insight into Chris Cuomo’s efforts to lead his brother through the allegations, which ultimately resulted in Andrew Cuomo’s resignation in August. New York Attorney General Letitia James has been released a damn report before resigning, detailing allegations by 11 women who said he acted inappropriately while in office.

A separate report from the New York State Assembly said it earlier this month found “overwhelming evidence” that Andrew Cuomo had engaged in sexual harassment, as well as evidence supporting allegations that he used government workers and resources to write his memoirs about the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Cuomo said earlier this year that he had helped his brother in the midst of questions about their relationship while on CNN, even though he said he did not act as an official adviser. Chris Cuomo also added that he urged his brother to step down as governor as the revelations flooded in.

In an interview with investigators, the journalist insisted that he never tried to influence any stories or journalists while supporting his brother. If he had, Chris Cuomo added, “I guarantee people would know that.”

“I just know that when the situation started to accelerate, my brother asked me to be in the loop,” Chris Cuomo told investigators in July. He later added that he heard “more from my brother when he is at a certain time where he needs my view on what is happening.”

In a statement Monday, a CNN spokesman said the documents released by the Attorney General’s Office “deserve a thorough review and consideration.”

“We will have conversations and seek further clarity on their significance as they relate to CNN over the next few days,” the spokesman said.

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