New York lawmakers suspend Cuomo impeachment investigation
ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Assembly will suspend its impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo “upon the governor’s resignation,” Speaker Carl Heastie announced Friday.
Cuomo announced Tuesday that he would resign, effective Aug. 24. His announcement came a day after Heastie and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine (D-Nassau) detailed their plans to introduce articles of impeachment in a matter of weeks.
Progressives, Republicans and anti-sexual harassment advocates have spent recent days arguing that members should continue with their plans and impeach a governor who is no longer in office, a move that would be unprecedented in New York.
“A job resignation does not equate to accountability,” Republican Minority Leader Will Barclay said in a statement earlier Friday. “Additionally, impeaching Andrew Cuomo means he would be prohibited from holding public office ever again in New York state.”
But Heastie said in a statement that “the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation was to determine whether Governor Cuomo should remain in office. The governor’s resignation answers that directive.”
He also said Lavine and counsel concluded “that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office.” The Assembly released a legal memo justifying that conclusion.
Heastie said the impeachment inquiry that was launched in March “did uncover credible evidence in relation to allegations that have been made in reference to the governor. Underscoring the depth of this investigation, this evidence concerned not only sexual harassment and misconduct but also the misuse of state resources in relation to the publication of the governor’s memoir as well as improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lavine will turn this evidence over to various authorities investigating Cuomo, including the United States Attorney’s Eastern District as well as several district attorneys.
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