State Attorney General Letitia James gave a new interview Wednesday night in which she slammed her former chief of staff, Ibrahim Khan, for sexual misconduct and said she was considering taking prosecutors to court for determine if he had committed a crime.
James made the explosive comments on NY1, after he was first confronted by the Post earlier today outside his Brooklyn home following scathing criticism that she covered Khan’s sexual harassment case until recently. after the November 8 elections.
The attorney general said she has not spoken to Khan since she was first informed of the charges against him on October 2.
“I’m angry because he was my chief of staff for ten years. I am deeply disappointed in him and there is no excuse for his behavior. Nothing at all,” James told host Errol Louis on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” show.
Louis also asked James if she would make a criminal dismissal against Khan.
“We will consider the possibility of a dismissal,” she said.
She also said she disputed Khan’s statement that his Nov. 22 resignation was unrelated to the investigation by a law firm hired by the attorney general, which proved he had given over to sexual misconduct.
“At the end of the day, the bottom line is that the allegations were founded. Mr Khan has resigned, he is no longer in the Attorney General’s office,” James said.
“It’s a pun. The reality is that the allegations were true.
James was also asked about an exclusive report published in The Post in September 2017 when she was the city’s public attorney. A former employee has accused Khan, then James’ chief of staff, of drugging and sexually assaulting her at a holiday party in December 2014.
She said she didn’t know about the allegations until 2017.
When asked why it took so long for these accusations to reach him, James replied, “I don’t know.”
She said her office notified the Investigations Department, the District Attorney’s Office as well as the Police Department and Human Rights Commission of the complaint filed against Khan by former staffer Angel DuBose.
“These allegations were unfounded,” James said.
Her appearance also came just hours after Sofia Quintanar, a former deputy deputy press secretary in the AG’s office, told the New York Times that the married Khan grabbed her and “shoved her tongue into my throat” outside a Brooklyn bar in November 2021 – and tore up James’ office’s handling of the case.
Khan also allegedly groped another woman and kissed her against her will, according to the Times.
James clearly played defense during the NY 1 interview, parrying questions about why the Khan scandal was kept under wraps during the home stretch of the campaign trail and whether the investigation was why it declined to debate his Republican opponent Michael Henry.
“I understand the appearance. … We rarely comment on an investigation. We won’t want to jeopardize the investigation,” she said.
She said protecting the privacy of the alleged accusers/victims was paramount.
James insisted his refusal to discuss Henry was unrelated to the Khan scandal.
” No not all. The reason I didn’t debate my opponent was because he was a MAGA Republican who spoke untruths about my career and my performance as Attorney General. And so I didn’t want to hire him,” she said.
Henry called on Governor Kathy Hochul to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate James’ office’s handling of the Khan case – something the Democratic governor rejected on Wednesday.
During the NY1 interview, James said she handled the Khan investigation by the book based on a sexual harassment policy she established when she became attorney general.
She repeatedly referred to the timetable set out by her office on Monday – first learning of the charges against Khan on October 2, ordering him to work remotely and not hire other workers on October 3, and hiring an outside form to conduct an independent probe on October 4.
She said Khan resigned on November 22, before Littler Mendelson’s investigation was completed on December 2, which proved Khan committed sexual misconduct.
James denied protecting Khan.
“We take these allegations seriously. That is why we are committed to decisive and appropriate action,” the Attorney General said.
“We conducted a thorough and independent investigation without conflict of interest or impropriety.”
She said when the investigation was complete, her team contacted the accusers to let them know the allegations were “substantiated”.
James was asked about the criticism from Quintanar, who told The Times, “I find it just appalling how the office has handled this publicly.”
James replied, “I believe the individual in question. I took his allegations very seriously.
Asked if the Khan scandal had undermined his ability to push for reforms in Albany, James replied, “Not at all.”
New York Post