Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie laid out the “potential paths forward” to impeach the Governor, who is surrounded by scandals involving alleged sexual harassment and the deliberate concealment of the number of elderly deaths in state nursing homes.
The House Judiciary Committee will now begin its inquiry with subpoena powers. It will also have the ability to retain the services of outside legal counsel to shed light on allegations against Cuomo of alleged sexual misconduct.
“The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as permitted by the New York State Constitution,” Heastie said.
Under the New York Constitution, impeaching Cuomo would require a simple majority vote of the 150-member state Assembly, which is composed of 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans and one independent.
A majority of Assemblymembers expressed support for ending Cuomo’s term in office. In fact, a total of 43 Democrats had called for the Governor to resign; they, along with 43 House Republicans, total 86; 10 more than what is required to impeach the Governor.
This Thursday, March 11th, more than 55 lawmakers officially demanded Cuomo’s resignation. In a joint statement, Cuomo’s fellow Democrats asserted that the governor has already “lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature.”
“We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is in the best interest of New Yorkers at this critical time,” adds the statement, which concludes with a strong plea, “It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
Likewise, Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat and Mayor of New York City, demanded Cuomo’s resignation. He said Cuomo “can no longer serve as governor.”
“It’s not one, it’s not two, it’s not three, it’s not four, it’s not five. It’s six women who have come forward,” de Blasio told reporters during his daily press conference at City Hall.
Cuomo reiterates he will not resign
However, Cuomo has reiterated that he wouldn’t quit office and attacked politicians who have called for his resignation in recent days. “There are some legislators who are suggesting that I resign because of accusations that have been made against me. I was elected by the people of the state. I was not elected by politicians. I am not going to resign because of accusations,” stated the highest authority of New York last Sunday.
The allegations related to sexual harassment against the Governor are being investigated by a team of outside lawyers, including the former acting U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Joon Kim.
It is also known that the FBI is also investigating the Cuomo Administration for its handling of the pandemic after it concealed the actual number of elderly deaths in nursing homes in the state.