Cuomo Critics Push for Impeachment So He Can’t Hold Office Later
(Bloomberg) -- A growing number of New York lawmakers are calling for the state legislature to push forward on impeachment despite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision Tuesday to resign.
The six Republican lawmakers on the 21-person Assembly Judiciary Committee, which began an impeachment investigation in March, said they intend to hold Cuomo “accountable,” adding that New Yorkers “deserve a full, public disclosure of the information obtained during our search for the truth,” according to a Wednesday statement.
The committee is scheduled to meet on Aug. 16 in Albany to discuss whether they’ll continue with their five-month long investigation. In addition to the 11 harassment claims contained in a damaging report by Attorney General Letitia James, lawmakers were investigating whether the Cuomo administration covered up Covid-19 nursing-home deaths, provided relatives with virus testing before it was widely available, mishandled construction of the Mario Cuomo Bridge and misused public resources for a $5 million leadership book.
Cuomo, who said he would leave the Executive Mansion in two weeks, had been given a Friday deadline to provide any documents or other evidence for the impeachment proceedings. He also faces possible criminal charges.
A spokesman for Charles Lavine, the chairman of the committee, declined to say whether the committee would continue to pursue impeachment proceedings and said that the issue will be discussed at the group’s next meeting.
Earlier this week, before Cuomo said he would step down, Lavine said an impeachment would be “moot” if Cuomo were to resign before their investigation drew to a close. “But, there would be the opportunity in the court of impeachment to prohibit him from ever occupying statewide office,” he had said.
The push to continue impeachment isn’t just coming from Republicans. Democratic state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, a longtime Cuomo critic, called on the Assembly to continue with impeachment proceedings despite the added cost and time proceedings would necessitate.
“Resignation is not accountability, and so I think that the legislature has to continue to move forward with impeachment proceedings,” she said. “Just resignation means that he is permitted to run for office again, and we have to ensure that is not the case.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.