The New York Legislative Assembly formally initiated investigations into the sexual harassment of which the state governor, Andrew Cuomo, is accused, and which could lead to an impeachment trial against him.
According to the head of the judicial committee that will be in charge of the investigations, Charles Lavine, it will be a process that will last “months, rather than weeks”, although he pointed out that it is complicated to give more concrete dates.
“At this early stage, it is not possible to say precisely how long the investigation will last. Given the breadth and seriousness of the matter under investigation, we anticipate months rather than weeks,” said Lavine, who admitted that there is “very little precedent” for impeachment trials in New York.
In an effort to make the investigation as objective as possible, the law firm David Polk & Wardwell has been hired, although some of the seven women accusing Cuomo of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior have criticized the New York Legislature’s efforts.
The judiciary committee will not only investigate Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment, reported mostly by former and current female employees of the governor’s office, but also allegations that the politician disguised the numbers of deaths in nursing homes in the state during the coronavirus pandemic as actually being higher than mortality figures for that sector of the population reflect.
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On this investigation depends whether impeachment proceedings are initiated against Cuomo, who has been turned away by a long list of party colleagues, who in recent weeks have repeatedly and publicly urged him to resign his post.
In response, Cuomo has apologized if his behavior offended any of his female staffers, but has denied sexually harassing anyone, while lashing out at all those who have called for him to resign.
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact and yet come to a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion foolish and dangerous,” the governor asserted a day after the most serious allegations came to light, in which one of his aides said Cuomo groped her breasts at his official residence.
“I have not done what has been alleged, period,” added the New York politician, who has asked the citizens of the state to wait for the results of the investigations, which will not only be carried out by the state Legislature, but also by the office of the Attorney General of the region, Letitia James.