Chris Cuomo will be off the air for the foreseeable future on CNN's airwaves -- the cable news network just suspended the guy ... all over his efforts to protect his brother. The question ... does Chris survive this at CNN?
CNN just announced they're benching Chris indefinitely over newly released evidence put out by the New York Attorney General's Office, which shows purported texts Chris sent to people on Andrew Cuomo's team in the middle of his sexual harassment scandal.
They say the new transcripts and exhibits that were dumped Monday "shed new light on Chris Cuomo's involvement in his brother's defense. The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions."
CNN goes on to add Chris told them he admitted he'd offered advice to his brother's staff, breaking their rules ... which the network acknowledged publicly some time ago.
A network rep says they understood where he was coming from at the time, but in light of this -- they say, "[T]hese documents point to a greater level of involvement ... than we previously knew." As a result, he's suspended pending further evaluation.
ICYMI ... Chris was revealed to have texted about specific accusers, including Anna Ruch -- who accused Andrew of kissing her at a wedding. CC allegedly wrote to a staffer of Andrew's ... "I have a lead on the wedding girl," which implies he was looking into her.
The NY AG docs also suggest Chris was reaching out to his media industry sources to get recon on who else might be coming forward with allegations against his bro.
As you know ... Gov. Cuomo ultimately resigned from his post, maintaining he never purposely did anything inappropriate. However, he has since been embroiled legally as well ... now facing criminal charges over some of the claims against him.
Cuomo's ratings have tanked over the last few months, and the fact CNN is characterizing his suspension as "indefinite" opens the door to the question ... will CC ever return to the CNN anchor seat?