But as it became clearer that the State Assembly intended to seek impeachment, the situation became less tenable. Under New York rules, if the congregation is charged, a governor must resign before a Senate trial has reached a verdict. Mr. Cuomo, used to the trappings of power, would have been reluctant to stand trial as a private individual, say people who know him.

“Today was about giving him 14 days to figure out the next phase of his life, as opposed to an impeachment vote that would have triggered his immediate removal from his actual home and the Executive Chamber,” said State Senator Todd Kaminsky, a Nassau. Democrat district.

“He wants to go on his own terms and he wants it to be as convenient and unembarrassing as possible, and he bought himself 14 days for it,” he added. “I don’t think voters think any differently about the deeds, the disgusting behavior in the attorney general’s report.”

When asked whether Mr. Cuomo could run again, Mr. Kaminsky replied: “I absolutely don’t think so.”

Just before Mr Cuomo spoke on Tuesday, his lawyer Rita Glavin made a lengthy presentation criticizing the news media and explaining the details of the report.

After she laid the foundation, Mr. Cuomo came on his own defense. The political environment was to blame for his predicament, he claimed.

Even on the verge of stepping down, Mr Cuomo seemed to believe that if he had only had more time, he could have won in the public opinion court.

“This is about politics, and our political system is now too often driven to extremes: rash has replaced reasonableness, loudness has replaced solidity,” he said. “If I could communicate the facts through the frenzy, New Yorkers would understand. I believe that.”

MP Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat, compared Mr Cuomo’s trajectory to a Greek tragedy.

“It is the steepest collapse in the history of government policy,” he said. “And as with all Greek tragedies, hubris is the focus.”