With a majority of state lawmakers now calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down amid sexual misconduct allegations and an alleged cover-up of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, the New York State Assembly is now taking steps that could lead to his potential impeachment.
On Thursday, Spectrum News and the New York Post reported that the Assembly, led by Democrat Carl Heastie, is forming a judiciary committee inquiry to investigate Cuomo’s alleged misconduct, which would be able to subpoena witnesses to turn over documents and testify under oath. The development comes a day after the Albany Times-Union reported that an unnamed female aide had filed a complaint with Cuomo’s office that alleged he invited her to his private residence to fix his cell phone, at which point he shut the door and “aggressively” groped her. Cuomo denied the allegation, but his office was compelled by law to report it to the Albany police.
The committee marks a significant step toward potential impeachment proceedings for the third-term governor due to the number of Assembly members who have called for Cuomo’s ouster. To be impeached, 76 lawmakers in the 150-member Assembly would need to vote to put him on trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority would need to vote to convict to find him guilty. As of Thursday afternoon, over 120 Assembly members and 40 (out of 63) state senators have called for Cuomo to step down.
The judiciary-committee inquiry isn’t the only probe Cuomo is facing as the crises swirl around him. New York State Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating the governor for his alleged misconduct, and is conducting an investigation into his office’s alleged cover-up of nursing-home deaths in the early months of the pandemic.