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.
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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