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New York Democrats prepare to impeach Cuomo

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx speaks during a state capitol briefing on June 8, 2020 in Albany, NY The Judiciary Committee of the State Assembly has been considering impeachment since March. | Hans Pennink / AP Photo

ALBANY, NY – The Democratic majority in the New York Assembly is preparing to impeach Gov. Andrew Cuomo if he does not resign, a rapid deterioration in their relationship after Tuesday’s devastating allegation that he sexually harassed 11 women .

This result became clear after an emergency meeting of lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon, hours after State Attorney General Tish James released a damning report chronicling multiple cases of sexual harassment by the governor. . The state assembly’s judicial committee has been considering the indictment since March.

“After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General’s report regarding the allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo, it is quite clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Democratic majority in the Assembly and that he can no longer remain in office. Carl Heastie said in a statement. “Once we have received all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will act quickly and seek to complete our impeachment inquiry as quickly as possible. ”

“A lot of people are ready,” said Assembly member Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan). “The process is going to end and then, I think, you will see the Assembly vote on the articles of impeachment.”

The judiciary commission has scheduled a meeting for Monday to discuss the next steps in its impeachment inquiry.

About half of the 107-person Democratic conference called on Cuomo to step down in March, though only a handful supported the disruptive process of immediately staging an impeachment. That changed dramatically on Tuesday, with dozens of members saying they were ready to immediately take whatever votes were needed to end the governor’s term.

“It is important to stay focused on the fact that there is a pattern of behavior presented in the report, which means it can happen every day,” said Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D-Queens) , who called for Cuomo’s resignation in the spring and is now in favor of impeachment. “It is dangerous that this behavior continues in the governor’s office, so the Assembly must act quickly.”

“There is great concern about his ability to lead and not execute… retaliation against these employees and others who may not have come out yet,” said Assembly Member Jon Rivera. (D-Buffalo).

How quickly this could be remains an open question. The Assembly had also considered issues such as the governor’s management of nursing homes during the pandemic and the accelerated construction of a bridge, and there seems to be at least some appetite to wrap up these inquiries before moving on. the front. But it’s clear that much of the conference doesn’t want to wait too long.

“I don’t think New Yorkers or anyone in this political process, including the Assembly, would be happy if this dragged on,” Assembly member Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx) said. “This is a damning report, and I am ready to vote yes.”

It will take 76 votes to remove Cuomo. The 43-member Republican Conference would likely support such a move unanimously.

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