New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is fighting for his political life amid calls for his resignation, local law enforcement inquiries and the threat of impeachment by the state legislature following findings by the state’s attorney general that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 young women in his office and official residence.
A majority of New York State Assembly members on Wednesday told The Associated Press they support launching impeachment proceedings against the embattled governor if he does not resign.
Cuomo engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment of women employees in his state office, violating federal and state laws, an independent investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James’s office concluded.
Cuomo, who has denied wrongdoing, now faces a growing number of inquiries by local prosecutors and calls by Democratic Party leaders – including United States President Joe Biden – for his resignation.
A majority of New Yorkers (59 per cent) and a majority of New York Democrats (52 per cent) think Cuomo, who gained international prominence for his handling of the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, should resign, a Marist Poll showed on Wednesday.
The Marist Poll of 614 randomly selected New York adults was conducted by landline or mobile phone on August 3 when news of the Attorney General’s findings was announced.
At least 82 of the body’s 150 members have said publicly or told the AP that they favoured initiating the process of ousting the third-term Democratic governor if he does not quit.
The key Assembly Judiciary Committee has already begun an impeachment inquiry and is scheduled to meet next on August 9. A simple majority of Assembly members is needed to authorise an impeachment trial.
Judiciary Chair Charles Lavine praised the “professionalism” of the state investigation and said the committee is “engaged in an intensive analysis of the report”.
Articles of impeachment, which would temporarily remove Cuomo from office pending a trial in the state Senate, could be voted by the Assembly within 30 to 45 days.
Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to the governor, called for his impeachment by the state legislature after the state’s independent report was issued. Here