New York State Assembly ‘weeks’ away from possible Cuomo impeachment vote

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Leaders in the State Assembly said Monday they are ramping up their impeachment probe against Gov. Andrew Cuomo — and a vote on articles of impeachment could happen within weeks.

The Judiciary Committee, which is handling impeachment, met for the first time since the attorney general’s report alleging sexual misconduct by Cuomo. 

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The committee will have two more hearings — August 16 and August 23, mostly behind closed doors. They’ll be followed by public hearings shortly after, set to include advocates on behalf of sexual assault survivors, and experts on the New York State Constitution.

“The majority of the Assembly has no confidence in the governor’s ability to continue in office,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie Monday.

Assemblyman Charles Lavine is leading the impeachment proceedings in the judiciary committee.

“I understand and sympathize with a desire to do this as fast as possible, but we still have to comport with constitutional mandates and requirements,” Lavine said.

The committee met almost entirely behind closed doors for more than three hours hours to review the attorney general’s materials with impeachment investigators from the law firm of Davis Polk. They discussed not just the sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo, but also the governor’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, and other possible abuses of power — like Cuomo’s $5 million book deal.

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Lawmakers were asked repeatedly why they’re choosing not to just move forward with impeachment now, following the report from New York state Attorney General Tish Hames. They generally responded by saying they wanted to build the most thorough case possible across all of the allegations both related and unrelated to sexual misconduct.

Meanwhile, support is crumbling within Cuomo’s inner circle. Late Sunday night his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, resigned. According to the AG’s report, she worked behind the scenes to discredit Cuomo’s first accuser Lindsey Boylan.

There also have been reports Cuomo is trying to cut a deal to end the impeachment process by pledging to not run again. Heastie dismissed that effort.

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“I am not negotiating any deals,” he said. “I read that in the newspaper. I am not part of any discussions, nor do I plan to be part of any discussions about cutting deal.”

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