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Lawyers for disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo are ramping up for a legal fight against a state trooper who accused him of groping her — issuing sweeping document requests from probes conducted by state Attorney General Letitia James and the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
The Judiciary Committee conducted an impeachment inquiry of Cuomo and issued a blistering report last November that accused him of being a sexual harasser who misused state resources while writing a self-congratulatory book during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Assembly panel has received notification of a subpoena from Cuomo’s lawyers requesting all underlying documentation collected as part of its probe, legislative sources told The Post.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Nassau), the panel chairman, advised all the judiciary committee members on July 7 to preserve all documents in their possession after being contacted by lawyers, sources told The Post.
Lavine declined to comment.
Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, notified the court she also would subpoena all the underlying records from the attorney’s general office investigation of Cuomo as well as the Assembly.
It was James’ scathing investigative report last August that concluded that Cuomo harassed or engaged in misconduct against a slew of women that forced his resignation under the threat of impeachment. He has maintained his innocence and some criminal cases reviewed by prosecutors in groping cases were dismissed.
“We expect litigation on subpoenas we intend to issue to the New York State Attorney
General’s Office and the New York Assembly Judiciary Committee for all evidence gathered underlying their respective reports—which the Amended Complaint makes extensive allegations about, quotes, and heavily relies upon,” Glavin said in a May 31 letter to Brooklyn federal Judge Taryn Merkl.
The attorney general’s office said it is reviewing the Cuomo subpoena.
Glavin, who declined comment on Monday, has previously complained that both AG James and the Assembly have refused to turn over the underlying documents in their investigations of the fallen three-term governor.
Trooper 1, who was serving as one of Cuomo’s bodyguards at the time, accompanied him to an event at Belmont racetrack on Sept. 23, 2019, where “she felt violated as the governor intentionally touched her in intimate locations between her breasts and vagina,” according to the complaint filed in Eastern District Court in February.
“As Trooper 1 went ahead of the Governor to hold a door open for him, the Governor placed the palm of his hand on her belly button and slid it across her waist to her right hip, where her gun was holstered,” her lawyers allege.
A few days after the incident, the trooper says Cuomo asked about her relationship status, “clearly prompted by the now-public fact that he had broken up with his girlfriend” — Sandra Lee, the complaint says.
“When she replied she was in her late 20’s, the Governor said, ‘You’re too old for me.’”
The trooper claims Cuomo tried to kiss her, steered conversations toward sex, and made comments on her appearance, once asking “why don’t you wear a dress?’
In response, the woman told the disgraced pol that it was “impossible for her to carry a gun in a dress.”
After the encounter, the trooper got a message from the head of her unit, who advised her the interaction would “stay in the truck.”
The woman viewed the message as a “clear order that she not disclose to anyone the Governor’s inappropriate comment.”
On another occasion, he ran “his finger down the center of my back of my spine, basically from the top of my neck, basically midway down with his pointer finger and just said, ‘Hey, you,’” according to the complaint.
Cuomo has denied wrongdoing.
The amended suit also lists Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa, senior adviser Richard Azzopardi and the state Police as defendants for allegedly engaging in a cover-up.
Cuomo’s lawyers and those of the other defendants intend to play hardball.
The Trooper case mentions a slew of other women who accused Cuomo of mistreating them and his lawyers intend to depose all of them, according to court papers.
“We are prepared to discuss the need for more than ten depositions…. To refute allegations specific only to Trooper 1, we must depose a number of current and former New York State Troopers,” Glavin wrote to the judge.
“The amended Complaint, however, makes specific additional allegations about Governor Cuomo regarding eleven women—lifting from the Attorney General’s Report—which necessitates the defense deposing those women to refute the allegations.
“Had the Complaint focused solely on Plaintiff Trooper 1, and not included allegations about ten additional women, we could have agreed to take no more than the ten depositions.”‘
Trooper 1’s lawyers object to deposing the other women accusers.
“Those witnesses already gave testimony to the attorney general’s office under oath. They’ve already been deposed,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer, Valdi Licul.
Meanwhile, lawyers for DeRosa and Azzopardi are trying to have the cases against them dismissed.
“Plaintiff does not allege that Ms. DeRosa knew Governor Cuomo was harassing her (assuming that he was) and, therefore, the plaintiff cannot establish aiding and abetting liability,” defense lawyer Elkan Abramowitz said.
“Plaintiff can point to no evidence that Ms. DeRosa knew of Governor Cuomo’s allegedly harassing conduct, and Ms. DeRosa could not have retaliated against Trooper 1 as plaintiff alleges because Ms. DeRosa was out of government service at the time of the alleged retaliatory act.”