If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo does not resign following the state attorney general’s report this week which found the governor sexually harassed 11 women, a majority of state assembly members would be ready to initiate impeachment proceedings.
At least 86 members of the Assembly – more than half of the 150 in total – have publicly stated or told The Associated Press that they would support the move to remove Cuomo in the wake of the latest bombing against him.
Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation began after several women came forward to accuse Cuomo of harassment earlier this year.
As recently as last year, Cuomo was a prominent voice in the Democratic Party and was praised for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but the tidal wave of allegations and accusations that he played down the number of coronavirus nursing home deaths left him with few supporters.
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State Assembly Member Ron Kim, a Democrat, called on the assembly to resume the session “immediately” to begin the impeachment procedure.
“There is no longer any measure to hide the truth. The governor broke the law, so we must hold him accountable,” Kim said in a statement.
“There is no longer any measure to hide the truth. The governor broke the law, so we must hold him accountable.”
“When institutions do not believe the victims, allow predators to act with impunity or do not put in place protection policies, it sends a strong signal that tolerates this type of unacceptable behavior. We can no longer afford to ‘ignore its transgressions: to do so will erode the integrity of our legislature and demonstrate its complicity in protecting a sexual predator. ”
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democrat, said in a statement: “As I said, when these disturbing allegations first came to light, the governor must resign for the good of the state. Now that the investigation is complete and the allegations have been substantiated, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as governor. “
“It should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as governor.”
Leading Democrats at the national and state levels, including President Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the two U.S. senators from New York, have called for Cuomo’s resignation. The report found that Cuomo engaged in “unwanted fumbling, kissing and hugging,” made inappropriate remarks to staff members and oversaw a work culture “plagued by fear and fear. intimidation ”.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday: “The President thinks Governor Cuomo should do the right thing, step down and make room for future leaders in New York,” Psaki said. .
One of the governor’s closest allies, New York Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, said Cuomo “has lost his ability to govern, both practically and morally.” Jacobs told Spectrum News he privately tried to persuade Cuomo to resign but “was not making progress.”
Cuomo, in his third term, denied many of the allegations written in Tuesday’s report and claimed that others had been misinterpreted or misinterpreted. He said “politics and prejudice” were intertwined throughout the report.
Assembly Democrats, who run the chamber, debated virtually for hours on Tuesday whether to impeach the governor now, wait to see if he resigns, or give the Judiciary Committee time to conclude its vast investigates topics ranging from sexual misconduct to Cuomo. the administration’s obfuscation for months of the total number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19.
At least 40 Democrats are backing the start of the impeachment process if Cuomo doesn’t go alone. The assembly includes 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans and an independent.
It takes a simple majority to allow an impeachment trial.
Republican Assembly Leader Will Barclay urged Democratic President Carl Heastie this week to call an emergency special session to vote to impeach Cuomo and Hestie has said he wants to quickly wrap up the body’s investigation. .
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Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris told The Associated Press the Assembly had been preparing for months for an impeachment trial which could begin in the coming weeks.
“We will be ready to go if and when the articles of impeachment are sent,” he said. “It could happen very quickly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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