The announcement came after an outside law firm was retained to review information about exactly how Cuomo aided his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when the then-governor was accused of sexual harassment.
“While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light,” CNN’s statement added. “Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.”
In a statement of his own Saturday, Chris Cuomo said, “This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
On the day his brother resigned, back in August, Chris Cuomo told viewers that “this situation is unlike anything I could have imagined.”
“I’m not an adviser. I’m a brother. I wasn’t in control of anything. I was there to listen and offer my take,” he said.
CNN management showed support for Cuomo, and “Cuomo Prime Time,” often the network’s highest-rated show, stayed on the air throughout the controversy.
The dissent only intensified after James’ office released the text messages, sworn testimony and other raw materials from her investigation into the ex-governor.
When the documents were released on Monday, CNN management said the “thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits” would be reviewed “over the next several days.”
Then on Tuesday evening, CNN indicated that the contents were serious enough to merit a suspension.
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the network said in a statement. “But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second.”
“However,” the network said, “these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
According to Saturday’s announcement, the process included an outside law firm, a fact that was not previously known.
With information in the texts and documents pointing to a serious breach of CNN standards, Cuomo was notified of his termination on Saturday.
The CNN statement on Saturday also referred to “additional information [that] has come to light” during the review of the document dump. A CNN spokesperson declined to share any further detail about the information.