State Assembly Committee Meeting to Discuss Cuomo’s Impeachment is Underway
by Yehudit Garmaise
The New York state Assembly committee that is expected to move to impeach Gov. Andrew Cuomo is meeting now after Letita James, New York’s attorney general, reported last week that she found an abundance of “believable and corroborated evidence” that the governor harassed 11 employees.
On Aug. 3, New York Attorney General James held a press conference to provide details of her 174-page report on her five-month investigation into the many allegations of harassment governor, who has been found to have violated state and federal law.
In addition on Friday, one of the governor’s former employees filed a criminal complaint against him that is being investigated by a group of law enforcement officers from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.
Two days ago, the attorney general’s office said in a statement that it will “cooperate fully with the Albany sheriff’s office and turn over any evidence that is related to the complaint.”
New York’s legislators have given Gov. Cuomo until Friday to respond to James’ report by submitting any additional information he wanted the body to consider in its findings.
Hours after James released her report, Gov. Cuomo released a taped statement, so that no reporters could ask him any questions, in which he continued to deny all the allegations against him and, furthermore, accuse others of lying about him and misinterpreting his actions.
Meanwhile, support for the governor has crumbled around him. Yesterday, for instance, Gov. Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, his senior secretary, co-strategist, and longtime confidant, resigned unexpectedly.
DeRosa has been accused by many of enabling the governor’s behavior and of viciously retaliating against anyone who spoke out against him.
Among many others, President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), New York Senators Chuck Schumer (D) and Kristin Gillibrand (D), and Mayor Bill de Blasio have called for the governor’s resignation.
The mayor called James's report on the governor, "very, very troubling. What we've seen is disqualifiying [the governor to lead the state.]"
“It is abundantly clear” that Cuomo needs to leave office after he “lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D).
In addition, approximately two-thirds of state Assembly members have already said that they favor an impeachment trial if Cuomo continues to refuse to resign, despite the profusion of scathing evidence that accuses him of multiple counts of harassment.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, the centrist Democrat, who is often described as "honest, pragmatic, and reasonable," and who has served the governor for two terms, has also joined the chorus that is increasing in volume as it calls for the governor to resign.
Last Tuesday, Hochul, who is known to be a friendly face in her mostly ceremonial role as lieutenant governor, cutting ribbons and visiting local establishments in the state's 62 counties and who would succeed the Gov. Cuomo upon his resignation or impeachment, called the governor's behavior "repulsive and unlawful."
(Photo by: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)