Cuomo May Still Face Impeachment to Keep Him From Running
(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned Tuesday in the aftermath of multiple sexual-harassment allegations, may still face impeachment if only to keep him from running for office again.
The state Assembly Judiciary Committee, which has been considering whether it had enough evidence to proceed with impeachment of the three-term Democrat, is scheduled to meet on Aug. 16 to discuss “what, if any, role there is anymore,” committee member David Weprin, a Democrat, said in an interview.
On Monday, committee Chairman Charles 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.
Cuomo announced his resignation a day after committee members pledged to soon wrap up their five-month investigation of Cuomo. In addition to the harassment claims, lawmakers were considering 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.
Last week, state Attorney General Letitia James ended a separate investigation that lodged 11 harassment claims against Cuomo. The Assembly planned to use some of the evidence in their own investigation. Cuomo, 63, has denied any wrongdoing, but plans to step down in 14 days to avoid distraction and “let government get back to government,” he said Tuesday.
Republican committee members Mary Beth Walsh and Keith P. Brown both urged the Assembly to continue its investigation. Democratic committee members Tom Abinanti and Phil Steck said they’re waiting to hear a determination from Davis Polk & Wardwell, the law firm representing the committee.
“We cannot allow resignation to be the end of this story,” Brown said in a statement.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, a longtime Cuomo critic, said she was pushing for impeachment proceedings.
“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.”
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