CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo — the host of Cuomo Prime Time and one of its top-rated anchors — after newly-released documents revealed the extent of his involvement in the defense of his brother, scandal-plagued former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James released thousands of documents on Monday showing that Cuomo used contacts to dig into the former governor’s accusers and consulted with gubernatorial sources in an effort to help his brother manage an ongoing sexual misconduct scandal. (The former governor resigned in August and now faces criminal charges in New York, as well as potential civil suits.)
Cuomo previously said on-air that he had offered advice to the governor, but CNN said in a statement that the new documents “point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew.” The network had declined to discipline Cuomo when his involvement first came to light in May but is now suspending him indefinitely pending further evaluation.
This reversal shows the power of documentary evidence, The Washington Post‘s Sarah Ellison told Morning Edition: Cuomo had insisted to investigators that he wasn’t a part of his brother’s defense team, but these new documents and text messages show he actively sought to join it. In doing so, he breached journalism norms of conduct. As Ellison put it, you can be a journalist or a political advisor, but not both.