After Confusion, Assembly Says Impeachment Report Coming
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to leave office next week, members of the State Assembly will still issue a report on the findings of their impeachment investigation into the governor, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday.
That comes after Heastie said Friday that the Assembly would drop the possibility of impeaching Cuomo after he announced his resignation three days earlier.
When Heastie made the announcement Friday, it was unclear whether the Judiciary Committee, which handled the investigation, would issue a final report on the five-month probe. That prompted backlash from Democrats who wanted to continue the investigation.
That changed over the weekend, according to the statement issued by Heastie Monday.
“The Assembly Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence and issue a final report on its investigation of Governor Cuomo,” Heastie said.
That report, and the final steps of the probe leading up to its release, aren’t expected to interfere with any of the other investigations into Cuomo from federal and state prosecutors, Heastie said.
The Assembly dropped the probe on Friday after Assembly Judiciary Chair Charles Lavine was advised by attorneys that it wouldn’t be legal to impeach Cuomo after he’s left office, per the state constitution. Other legal experts have said that’s not true.
The decision was reportedly made between Heastie and Lavine alone, without informing the full Judiciary Committee. Members of that committee were scheduled to meet Monday to decide if the probe should continue. That meeting was cancelled Friday.
The move prompted backlash from both Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature. Some wanted to see the Assembly attempt to impeach Cuomo, regardless of the legal risk, while others said they would be content with leaving it to a report.
That’s partly because the Assembly’s impeachment investigation covered allegations of misconduct against Cuomo that have yet to be formally investigated.
Before the impeachment investigation began, a separate probe from the Attorney General’s Office on the multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Cuomo had already begun. A report on that investigation, released in early August, prompted his resignation.
But the Assembly’s investigation has covered those claims, as well as other areas of alleged misconduct, like Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, whether he used state resources to write a book last year, and more.
Other outstanding investigations into Cuomo remain unfinished as well.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have been looking into how the Cuomo administration handled COVID-19 data related to nursing homes, while local prosecutors are considering criminal investigations into the governor’s alleged pattern of sexual harassment.
Cuomo is set to leave office next week.
The Assembly’s impeachment investigation was expected to cover several other areas of alleged misconduct from the governor, like his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, whether he used state resources to write his pandemic memoir, and more.
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