ALBANY — Republican lawmakers renewed their push to impeach Gov. Cuomo on Monday as Democrats grew more deeply divided over sexual harassment claims made against the governor.
Assembly Republicans introduced a resolution to impeach the governor weeks ago as the Cuomo administration faced accusations of an alleged coverup of nursing home COVID deaths and criticism for stonewalling lawmakers’ requests for related data.
On Monday, GOP lawmakers expanded the scope of the measure to include misconduct claims made by a series of former Cuomo aides in recent weeks.
“When you lose trust and credibility, you lose the ability to lead. Gov. Cuomo can no longer effectively govern New York,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Oswego). “It will be impossible for Gov. Cuomo to lead our state out of a pandemic — and negotiate one of the most important budgets in our state’s history — with a complete lack of credibility and trust from both the public and Legislature.”
A growing number of Democrats have called on Cuomo to resign, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), as more women come forward with claims of inappropriate behavior. Only a handful have joined Republicans in calling for his impeachment.
Cuomo has repeatedly said he has no intention of stepping down and reportedly told Stewart-Cousins on Sunday that impeachment is the only way he’ll leave office.
Freshman Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani (D-Queens) is one of a few Dems who believe the impeachment process is the best path forward — and about more than just removal from office.
“Our Constitution lays out the Legislature’s power to impeach in cases of willful and corrupt misconduct in office,’” he tweeted Monday. “Pursuing impeachment is not to proclaim a conviction, but to begin an investigation and the governor’s charges are worthy of just that.”
Meanwhile, a group of 23 Democrats serving in the chamber, all women, released a statement saying they believe Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation of the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo should be allowed to play out.
“We request that she be allowed the appropriate time to complete her investigation rather than undermine her role and responsibility as the chief law enforcement officer of the state of New York,” the letter reads.
Impeachment of the governor would require a majority vote of the 150-member Assembly. So far, roughly a dozen of the Democrats’ 107-member majority have publicly called for the governor to step down.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) released his own statement Sunday, stopping short of calling for his resignation and instead of saying Cuomo should consider whether he can still serve “effectively.”
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