The Democratic leader of the New York State Assembly announced Monday that the results of the investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) will be released, even though days earlier he revealed the impeachment threat would be no more and didn’t commit to releasing a final report.
“The Assembly Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence and issue a final report on its investigation of Governor Cuomo,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a statement. “In doing so, the committee will take all appropriate steps to ensure that this effort does not interfere with various ongoing investigations by the United States Attorney concerning nursing home data; the attorney general concerning the governor’s memoir; and local law enforcement authorities in five jurisdictions – Manhattan, Albany, Westchester, Nassau, and Oswego – regarding possible criminal incidents of sexual misconduct.”
The original investigation, which launched in March, was supposed to determine whether Cuomo should be removed from office, and came after several women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. But on Friday afternoon, several days after Cuomo agreed to resign, Heastie revealed the investigation would no longer proceed.
“There are two reasons for this decision. First, the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation was to determine whether Governor Cuomo should remain in office. The governor’s resignation answers that directive. Second, we have been advised by Chair Lavine – with the assistance of counsel – of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office,” said Heastie in a statement.
“Let me be clear – the committee’s work over the last several months, although not complete, did uncover credible evidence in relation to allegations that have been made in reference to the governor,” he added. “Underscoring the depth of this investigation, this evidence concerned not only sexual harassment and misconduct but also the misuse of state resources in relation to the publication of the governor’s memoir as well as improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
When the investigation was launched, Cuomo was also facing questions about his nursing home policies, his administration’s decision to withhold nursing home death data from lawmakers and his decision to profit off a pandemic memoir about leadership — a book that came out even before the various COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for emergency use.
The move to suspend it was met with criticism from Republicans and some Democrats alike, including Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has said Cuomo tried to get him to cover for his administration by threatening his career.
“Starting next week, Cuomo will start claiming his innocence by saying the assembly won’t impeach him because he didn’t do anything wrong,” predicted Kim. “He will play the victim while attacking the 11 courageous women who spoke up. We can’t allow this to happen.”
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