NY State Assembly GOP members introduce impeachment resolution against Cuomo
On Monday afternoon, Republicans in the New York State Assembly announced a resolution against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that would commence impeachment proceedings, as the governor is dogged by two ongoing scandals.
New York State Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R), joined by other GOP lawmakers, announced the plan to introduce an impeachment resolution.
“We’re going to introduce this resolution because we believe the time has come,” Barclay said. “In order to lead this great state as governor, you need to have credibility and trust […] and unfortunately, we feel the governor has lost that and now has an inability to lead.”
Barclay added that “there is been one bombshell after another.”
“I don’t think I’ve used the term ‘bombshell’ especially this week, any time more in my life, it has been one bombshell after another,” Barclay said, listing the scandals engulfing the governor and his administration.
Cuomo’s administration is the subject of a federal investigation into allegations that it covered up COVID-19 nursing home death data and the governor himself has been the center of mounting sexual harassment accusations.
“We had the AG report come out saying that the governor was underreporting nursing home deaths by as much as 50%,” Barclay said. “We had that secret political meeting where he had his top aides say they weren’t reporting the nursing home deaths because they were worried about a Department of Justice investigation—they were worried about the political fallout.”
He continued, adding that there was “the bullying and the harassing of sitting members of the state legislature,” referencing Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim’s (D) story that Cuomo allegedly threatened him over the phone, which Cuomo’s office has denied.
“Then we had five courageous women come forward to talk about their abuse, sexual harassment, and other abuse at the hands of the governor,” Barclay said.
Cuomo and his team have also denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him.
So far, about 30 Assembly Democrats have called on Cuomo to resign.
Notably, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) on Sunday called for his resignation, making her the highest-ranking state Democrat to do so.
“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins wrote in a statement. “We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project.”
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it,” the statement read. “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that Cuomo had a short phone call with Stewart-Cousins and told her that he would not resign and that if they want him out of office, they would need to impeach him, citing an unnamed person who was briefed by someone on the call.
At a Sunday press conference, Cuomo reiterated that he would not resign, saying, “There is no way I resign.”
“As you heard the governor say yesterday, I’m not going to resign, if you want to get rid of me, start impeachment,” Barclay said, referencing the governor’s remarks. “But we think now is the time to act. We think it’s time to commence impeachment.”
Acknowledging that Republicans “won’t be able to force a vote,” he said they would “keep pounding on this issue.”
According to Syracuse.com, a majority of the lower chamber’s 150 members would have to vote in favor of impeaching the governor for the process to continue.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.