Republican members of the New York State Assembly announced Thursday that they plan to introduce a resolution next week to form an impeachment commission tasked with investigating Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Republican Minority Leader Will Barclay said the commission will “gather facts and evidence” regarding Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his underreporting of nursing home deaths, according to Fox News.
The move comes after Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim accused Cuomo of threatening to “destroy him” for speaking out about Cuomo’s alleged cover-up in a private phone call earlier this week.
“The Cuomo Administration’s nursing home cover-up is one of the most alarming scandals we’ve seen in state government,” Barclay said in a statement.
“It is incumbent upon the Legislature to undertake a comprehensive, bipartisan review of the Cuomo Administration’s policies, decisions and actions on this matter and render a decision on what steps must be taken to hold the governor accountable,” Barclay said.
If the commission is authorized — a remote possibility given the Legislature’s solid Democratic majority — it would have the power to compel the state to release any and all documents related to the investigation.
It would also have the ability to subpoena government officials such as Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa to testify before lawmakers, according to the New York Post.
Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, rejected the push for such a commission.
“To take advantage of a situation that certainly has no relationship to criminality and, interestingly, smacks of hypocrisy when the same Republican leadership has been silent when it came to the actual criminality of a Republican president who fomented insurrection and actually deserved to be impeached,” Jacobs told the Post.
Republican Assemblyman Kieran Lalor, who recently launched a petition to impeach Cuomo, responded to Jacobs’ statement in a private message to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“They know they have to push back because the calls for impeachment are gaining momentum in both parties. That he is resorting to deflecting to “what about Trump” and the old “politicization” saw, is a positive,” Lalor said.
“They know we are right to perform our constitutional checks and balances role on the governor. They know the governor has committed impeachable offenses.
“Hell, even Alec Baldwin has come out against Cuomo because of his threats to Assemblyman Kim,” said Lalor, referring to a tweet from the actor.
If Cuomo threatened Ron Kim’s career, Cuomo should resign.
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) February 18, 2021
“The proposed impeachment commission is a step in the right direction. There are a few things I’d like to tweak but it’s a positive development in the struggle to hold Cuomo accountable and deliver justice to the souls we lost and their families,” Lalor said.
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