The action comes after the New York Attorney General's probe into Cuomo's involvement in the sexual harassment scandal of his brother Andrew, then the Governor of New York. While Chris Cuomo confessed to advising his brother about the charges, the reports that were revealed Monday showed a "greater level of involvement than [CNN] previously knew," the network stressed in a statement.
A CNN spokeswoman, in an email to CNBC, said that transcripts and exhibits released by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday “shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense” and “raise serious questions” for the network, which had not known about the extent of his role.
“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 spokeswoman said.
“But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, 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.”
The probe showed that Chris Cuomo gave Melissa DeRosa, the Governor's top aide, warning about media reports on the harassment and drafted statements for the office to use. He also used his connections in the media to find his brother's accusers. This went on while Chris Cuomo was reporting on the story as a journalist.
CNN said Monday that it would need time to ponder the consequences of the investigation.
"The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration," CNN spokesman Matt Dornic told CNBC. "We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days."
The suspension came within hours of a demand by a former aide to Andrew Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, that CNN should fire Chris Cuomo. Bennett said Chris Cuomo had attempted to smear her and other women who had charged his brother with sexual harassment.