The New York State Meeting has given the nod to an impeachment investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo, who faces a litany of sexual harassment costs from a number of accusers and intense criticism of his pandemic response.
Democratic Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie licensed a Judiciary Committee to probe the allegations on Thursday, tapping fellow Democrat Assemblyman Charles Lavine to spearhead the investigation.
“The stories of accusations regarding the governor are critical. The committee can have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena paperwork and consider proof, as is allowed by the New York State Structure,” Heastie stated in a statement. “I’ve the utmost religion that Assemblymember Lavine and the members of the committee will conduct an expeditious, full and thorough investigation.”
The transfer comes as New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James pursues a separate investigation into the ever-growing sequence of harassment allegations, which now embrace six ladies who say the governor made inappropriate feedback or undesirable sexual advances towards them. In contrast to the Meeting investigation, the AG’s probe is not going to contact on the nursing house scandal, during which Cuomo’s workplace is accused of covering up coronavirus deaths in long-term care amenities. Nonetheless, Heastie stated his inquiry is not going to intervene with James’.
Whereas the investigation doesn’t mark the start of formal impeachment proceedings, it’s a step in that route, because the probe’s findings might finally be used to bolster a authorized case for Cuomo’s elimination from workplace.
In an open letter printed earlier on Thursday, 59 New York Democrats and 20 Republicans demanded the governor’s speedy resignation, insisting he had “misplaced the arrogance of the general public and the state legislature.” Whereas Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins didn’t signal the letter, she additionally urged Cuomo to step down final Sunday. Not less than 118 of New York’s 213 legislators have now voiced the identical stance, prompting Heastie to fulfill with lawmakers on Thursday afternoon. He introduced the brand new probe quickly after.
Whereas Cuomo beforehand acknowledged he would search a fourth time period as governor, he refused to say whether or not he nonetheless supposed to take action throughout a press convention earlier this week. He has rejected requires his resignation as “anti-democratic,” regardless of the widespread bipartisan assist for the transfer. The governor has additionally addressed a few of the sexual misconduct costs, acknowledging that his “playful” feedback might have been “misinterpreted as an undesirable flirtation,” although he vocally denied that he ever groped or touched any girl inappropriately.
Much like the impeachment course of on the nationwide stage, below New York legislation, the state home can launch the proceedings by a easy majority vote. If accredited, the decision would then be despatched to the New York Senate for a trial. Nonetheless, as a result of their places of work are within the line of succession for governor, each Stewart-Cousins and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul could be barred from collaborating within the course of.
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