The impeachment investigation into claims of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will end once the governor’s resignation takes effect, state House Speaker Carl Heastie announced Friday, citing concerns about whether continuing the impeachment after Cuomo left office would be legally sound.
Cuomo said Wednesday that he would leave office on August 25.
Some Democrats had called for continuing the impeachment process even after Cuomo’s resignation, in the hopes of keeping him from running for office again.
Pressure had been growing on Cuomo to either resign or be removed from office after repeated claims from female aides that he sexually harassed them through actions like inappropriate comments and unwanted touching. Despite mounting claims against him, Cuomo repeatedly denied the allegations, and appeared determined to stay in office and fight back. But the governor was left with essentially no political allies after the findings of a five-month investigation were released last week by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which showed that Cuomo had harassed at least 11 different women. President Joe Biden was among those calling for Cuomo to step down after the report was released.
“This has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history,” Heastie said in a statement. “The people of this great state expect and deserve a government they can count on to always have their best interests in mind.”
What To Watch For
Leaving office might not be the end of Cuomo’s troubles when it comes to the accusations. Criminal investigations into Cuomo’s alleged harassment have been opened in five jurisdictions across the state, while federal prosecutors are also investigating how his administration handled Covid deaths in nursing homes. Heastie noted in his statement on Friday that the impeachment probe had uncovered “improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will assume the governorship after Cuomo departs.
Cuomo Resigns As New York Governor Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal (Forbes)
New York Lawmakers To Launch ‘Impeachment Investigation’ Into Cuomo (Forbes)
Cuomo Sexually Harassed ‘Multiple Women’ In Violation Of State And Federal Law, NY Attorney General Finds (Forbes)