Cuomo’s impeachment looms after NY Assembly leader says governor can’t remain in office

Written by on August 3, 2021

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Watch: Cuomo’s response to AG report of sexual harassment

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a 14-minute response Aug. 3, 2021, to a report from the state Legal professional Basic’s Workplace that he sexually harassed present and former aides.

New York State Workforce

  • Meeting Speaker: clear “the Governor has misplaced the boldness of the Meeting Democratic majority.”
  • What Cuomo’s subsequent transfer will probably be is unclear. He has pledged to combat to remain in workplace.
  • Cuomo once more contended he by no means touched anybody inappropriately.

ALBANY – New York State Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie on Tuesday stated Gov. Andrew Cuomo “can now not stay in workplace,” a important blow to the governor’s probabilities of staying in energy after a damning report earlier within the day detailed his sexually harassment of feminine aides.

Meeting Democrats, who maintain a large majority, met privately on a video convention name for practically three hours to debate the report and have been largely in settlement to maneuver ahead with articles of impeachment if the Democratic governor does not resign, lawmakers in attendance instructed the USA TODAY Community New York.

“After our convention this afternoon to debate the Legal professional Basic’s report regarding sexual harassment allegations in opposition to Governor Cuomo, it’s abundantly clear to me that the Governor has misplaced the boldness of the Meeting Democratic majority and that he can now not stay in workplace,” Heastie stated in a press release.

“As soon as we obtain all related paperwork and proof from the Legal professional Basic, we’ll transfer expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as rapidly as potential.”

The assertion got here simply moments after President Joe Biden additionally referred to as on Cuomo to resign after the report’s launch earlier within the day by state Legal professional Basic Letitia James.

Biden did not weigh on on whether or not Cuomo ought to be impeached, saying solely, “Let’s take one factor at a time right here. I believe he ought to resign.”

Cuomo has to this point vowed to remain in workplace, releasing a 14-minute video in his protection and placing out an 85-page rebuttal from his personal legal professional to James’ findings.

“My job is just not about me; my job is about you,” he stated. “What issues to me on the finish of the day is getting probably the most performed I can for you.  And that’s what I do day-after-day. And I cannot be distracted from that job.”

Extra: Highlights of AG report in opposition to Cuomo: Listed here are the findings

Preventing for political survival

Cuomo has been in a position to hold at bay Meeting members’ requires his resignation after the allegations in opposition to him first surfaced earlier this yr and James launched her probe in March.

And Heastie requested the Meeting Judiciary Committee to conduct its personal investigation into Cuomo, which remains to be ongoing.

However Meeting Democrats on Tuesday sounded poised to maneuver forward with the articles of impeachment as quickly as potential if Cuomo does not resign, lawmakers stated.

“I cannot touch upon the deserves of the impeachment, however it’s clear {that a} important majority of the whole Meeting is reflecting the views of so many in the general public that they would favor the governor to keep away from the necessity for the continuation of the impeachment investigation and for him to resign,” stated Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, D-Greenburgh, instructed the USA TODAY Community New York.

In a press release, fellow Westchester lawmaker Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, stated: Cuomo “must resign now, and if that doesn’t occur, we within the Meeting should start impeachment proceedings.”

What Cuomo’s subsequent transfer will probably be is unclear.

He has pledged to combat to remain in workplace. His time period runs till the top of 2022. He is been so defiant that he hasn’t even dominated out working for a fourth time period subsequent November. He was first elected in 2010.

However each leaders of the state Legislature need him to go, in addition to Biden and all main Democrats within the state, together with Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

“Now that the investigation is full and the allegations have been substantiated, it ought to be clear to everybody that he can now not function Governor,” Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, stated in a press release.

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, a Rockland County Democrat who sits on the Judiciary Committee, stated the chamber’s ongoing investigation will each inform the choice on whether or not to question and supply the premise for a possible case in opposition to the governor.

If the Meeting decides to question Cuomo, he can be topic to a trial earlier than a joint session of the Senate and the state Court docket of Appeals. The Meeting would lead the case. Even below the quickest of eventualities, it will require time to place that case collectively.

“There’s nonetheless work to be performed,” Zebrowski stated.

“There’s work to be performed to ensure that if we impeach, we now have all the mandatory data and paperwork to current an intensive case such as you would see in any courtroom across the nation.”

Extra: ‘I believe he ought to resign’: Biden requires NY Gov. Cuomo to step down after sexual misconduct allegations

What occurs subsequent with Cuomo?

Earlier Tuesday, Cuomo once more contended he by no means touched anybody inappropriately and careworn that he usually kisses and hugs folks he meets and works with, exhibiting a slideshow of him doing so with elected leaders and other people at occasions for years.

“I do kiss folks on the brow. I do kiss folks on the cheek. I do kiss folks on the hand. I do embrace folks,” Cuomo, 63, stated. “Occasionally, I do slip and say sweetheart or darling or honey.”

James’ investigation interviewed 11 former feminine staff who claimed Cuomo made inappropriate feedback or touched them inappropriately.

James, nonetheless, stated her investigation was civil in nature and it will be as much as prosecutors to pursue something criminally. 

“The matter is civil in nature and does not have any legal penalties,” she stated.

She additionally stayed out of the fray relating to what occurs subsequent with Cuomo.

“That call is finally as much as the governor of the state of New York,” she stated on whether or not he resigns.

James later added she has shared her investigative work with the Meeting Judiciary Committee. Albany County District Legal professional David Soares acknowledged Tuesday his workplace has an energetic legal investigation involving the governor. 

Extra: ‘He has misplaced our belief and respect.’ Rochester officers react to AG report in opposition to Cuomo

Cuomo gives a protection

Cuomo, specifically, singled out the allegations by former aide Charlotte Bennett, who accused him on nationwide TV and in media studies of asking inappropriate questions of her final yr. 

However Cuomo stated she misunderstood his intentions, saying he was attempting to assist Bennett as a sufferer of sexual abuse and explaining he had a detailed member of the family who was additionally an abuse sufferer.

“They learn into feedback that I made and draw inferences that I by no means meant,” Cuomo stated. “Merely put, they heard issues that I simply did not say.”

Nonetheless, Cuomo did apologize to Bennett and stated his workplace will convey on a harassment-training knowledgeable to assist implement adjustments in state coverage.

“I settle for accountability and we’re making adjustments,” Cuomo stated. “We’ve got to get the job performed. I promised you that I’d, and I will.”

Bennett’s legal professional Debra Katz disagreed with Cuomo’s assertion.

“The findings launched at present show what Charlotte Bennett said publicly, at nice private price, greater than six months in the past.” Katz stated in a press release.

“Governor Cuomo sexually harassed her throughout her employment as his government assistant and his enablers protected him and coated it up.” 

Contains reporting by New York State Workforce editor Jon Campbell.

Extra: Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 ladies in violation of legislation, AG report finds

Joseph Spector is the Authorities and Politics Editor for the USA TODAY Community’s Atlantic Group, overseeing protection in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. He will be reached at JSPECTOR@Gannett.com or adopted on Twitter: @GannettAlbany


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