The bureaucratic machinery that could lead to the impeachment of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was set to begin turning Monday as a state legislative panel discusses how to deal with a governor who refuses to leave his post amid near-universal calls for him to do so.
The Democrat-controlled state Assembly began an impeachment investigation into Cuomo in the spring, as allegations against him first began to percolate. Its pace was captured in a report by The New York Times published Aug. 2 that said the investigation “appeared to afford Mr. Cuomo some breathing room amid rising calls for his resignation.”
The report said “the Assembly’s inquiry may yet provide time to Mr. Cuomo, who most political observers expect will run again next year.”
Even Democrats who had hedged in the past condemned Cuomo and called upon him to resign.
Although Cuomo has been adamant that he never did anything wrong, talk of resignation picked up speed after top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa resigned Sunday.
The state Assembly’s Judiciary Committee met in Albany on Monday. The panel has already said it is “nearing completion” of its investigation and given Cuomo a deadline of Friday to give it any material he thinks it needs to review before taking action.
The outlet The City said that behind the scenes, there are attempts being made to work out a deal.
Cuomo and his top staff have been trying to cut a deal in recent days, telling top state officials that he won’t seek a fourth term to make impeachment talks go away but no one is buying it, sources familiar with the talks say. Unless Cuomo resigns, impeachment is a go. https://t.co/XOO5AqIsg0
— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) August 9, 2021
A report in the website, citing a source it did not name, said Cuomo is offering not to seek a fourth term as governor in return for the state legislature taking impeachment off the table — a deal that the report said is attracting minimal support.
Impeachment in New York varies slightly from the federal model in that the governor would be removed from office upon the filing of articles of impeachment by the Assembly, and could only be reinstated if the state Senate were to fail to convict him.
Democratic Assemblyman Charles Lavine said Monday the Assembly could release its impeachment report later this month.
“As early as later this month, we will discuss the evidence publicly in an open and transparent manner,” Lavine said, according to CBS News, before closing the committee meeting to the public.
Some accused Democrats of stalling.
11 victims, 179 witnesses and 74K pieces of evidence.
That’s what you need to START impeachment proceedings against a Democrat.
If Cuomo was a Republican he’d already be in jail.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) August 7, 2021
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York on Sunday dared Democrats to follow the impeachment process.
“He needs to be impeached. The Democrats in Albany have been slow-walking this up until this point,” Stefanik told Fox News.
“We have reached a breaking point. We need to make sure that there is equal justice under the law. And whether you’re the most powerful elected official in New York state, laws apply to you just like they do to every other New Yorker,” she said.
She said Cuomo will not pack up and leave without a fight.
“The governor does want to use time as his ally. He is digging in. And they are looking for any opportunity for him to cling onto power,” Stefanik said.
“Again they have been effective at bullying Democrats in the state legislature for years. Not just the past few months. That’s why it’s very important that the state Assembly and state Senate start the impeachment hearings with alacrity, as quickly as possible,” she added.
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