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NY State Assembly GOP members introduce impeachment resolution against Cuomo

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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.”

RELATED: NY AG releases report showing COVID-19 nursing home deaths ‘may have been undercounted by as much as 50%’

RELATED: Report: Cuomo advisers altered report on COVID-19 nursing home deaths

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.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

Cuomo and his team have also denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

RELATED: Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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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Is the FBI ‘purging’ agents with Conservative views?

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On Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan formally requested that the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, open an investigation into the FBI’s alleged use of political litmus tests to sideline or remove agents and employees with conservative viewpoints. This request also included a direct warning to FBI Director Christopher Wray about these practices.

Jordan’s action follows a report by Just the News detailing how an FBI security clearance review involved inquiries about an employee’s political beliefs. Specifically, the review asked whether the employee had expressed support for former President Donald Trump, attended a Second Amendment rally, or voiced skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines.

In a letter to Director Wray, Jordan expressed wrote, “The FBI appears to be purging itself of employees who do not share its preferred political views.” He emphasized the troubling nature of these practices, especially when they impinge on fundamental liberties and constitutional rights.

Speaking on the “John Solomon Reports” podcast, Jordan highlighted the severity of the situation: “Particularly when they’re asking about fundamental liberties, your constitutional rights, I mean, that is that is frightening stuff.” He further noted the retaliatory actions taken against whistleblowers who bring such issues to light, adding, “You put all that together, and you talk about politics driving what happens there.”

Jordan’s inquiry into the political weaponization of law enforcement has been ongoing, with a particular focus on the FBI’s conduct. In his communication with Inspector General Horowitz, Jordan underscored that the targeting of an employee’s political beliefs and First Amendment activities was deeply concerning and seemingly unrelated to legitimate security risk assessments. “These actions only serve to further erode the dwindling public trust in the FBI and reinforce the Committee and Select Subcommittee’s concerns about political bias within the FBI,” he wrote.

Jordan also referenced evidence uncovered by Judicial Watch, which suggested political retaliation against FBI whistleblowers aiding Congress. He pointed out that an FBI official allegedly disclosed nonpublic information about these whistleblowers to a Democrat member of the Select Subcommittee, ostensibly to discredit their testimonies about FBI misconduct. “It appears from the documents that the FBI sought to selectively disclose this nonpublic information so that it would be used to impugn the credibility of the whistleblowers,” Jordan stated.

In his separate letter to Wray, Jordan questioned the relevance of political viewpoints to security clearance determinations. He argued that while assessing the legality of employees’ actions is legitimate, questions about political beliefs are “completely irrelevant to any legitimate security risk determination” and infringe upon First Amendment rights.

Following the release of internal FBI memos showing that bureau officials had inquired about an employee’s support for Trump, stance on COVID-19 vaccines, and participation in a Second Amendment rally, concerns about political bias have intensified. These memos indicated that the employee’s security clearance was revoked months after confirming his conservative views and vaccine skepticism.

Tristan Leavitt, the lawyer representing the affected FBI employee, commended the congressional oversight, stating, “It’s good to see Congress holding the FBI’s feet to the fire.” He emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into how these questions were used to justify purging conservative employees from the FBI.

 Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton echoed this sentiment on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show, predicting that the FBI would attempt to deflect criticism despite clear evidence of misconduct. “I’m sure we’ll get some distraction and noise from Chris Wray and a reaffirmation that the FBI never does anything wrong, even when it’s caught red-handed,” Fitton remarked.

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