“The Democratic Conference is taking the first step toward impeachment by opening an investigation with full subpoena power to obtain facts and testimonies under oath,” Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim said in a statement obtained by Fox News on Thursday.
“Some members, including myself, argued that we had enough admission to proceed with impeachment today but the conference is leaning toward setting up the process and structure toward impeachment.”
Albany police said Thursday they received a report from the New York State Executive Chamber, which is the governor’s office, involving an incident with potential criminal activity. The incident allegedly involved a female aide and took place at Cuomo’s executive mansion. The news came just after the Albany Times Union reported on an allegation that Cuomo groped a female aide last year.
That marked the sixth allegation of inappropriate conduct since last month. Cuomo has denied the most recent allegation and said he was confident in the pending results of Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation.
After multiple allegations surfaced in February, the governor released a statement in which he denied inappropriately touching anybody but acknowledged his jokes at work might have been misinterpreted.
Amid his multiple responses, dozens of state lawmakers have called for his resignation. And by Thursday, a majority of state legislators made that call.
At least 121 members of the state Assembly and Senate have said publicly they believe Cuomo can no longer govern and should quit office now, according to a tally by The Associated Press. The count includes 65 Democrats and 56 Republicans.
Earlier on Thursday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie signalled he would take action on the issue. “In light of the allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks, I will be meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward,” he said.
For some, including one of Cuomo’s accusers, Heastie wasn’t doing enough to address the controversy.
“I literally cannot comprehend how little courage @CarlHeastie must have to avoid doing the right thing,” tweeted Lindsay Boylan, a former aide who accused Cuomo of inappropriate conduct. “Survivors do not need a ridiculous political circus that is at best duplicative of an independent investigation already underway. We need accountability not theatrics.”
After meeting with the assembly, Heastie released a statement stating that he was authorizing the Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation.
GOP state Sens. Tom O’Mara and Joseph Griffo had similarly panned Democrats’ response.
Meanwhile, the New York state Democratic Party Chair offered his support for an investigation but seemed to stop short of calling for Cuomo’s resignation.
“Faced with another serious and disturbing allegation, revealed last evening in an article in the Times Union, it has become even more imperative that all of these matters be thoroughly investigated,” read a statement from Chairman Jay S. Jacobs. He added that he would convene a meeting of county party chairs to hear their perspective.
“I recognize that within our Party there have been differing views as to how we should proceed and as to what course of action the Governor should take,” he said. “I respect the personal decision made by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and a large number of Democratic lawmakers calling for the Governor’s resignation.”
Fox News’ Tamara Gitt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- [LLODO] Cuomo’s ‘New York Tough’ slogan seems mocked as ‘NY Touch’ in light display
- [LLODO] Gunning for Cuomo, Lee Zeldin rakes in big bucks on Day One
- [LLODO] NY Rep. Zeldin launches 2022 gubernatorial campaign amid Cuomo controversies
- [LLODO] Cuomo administration tracked nursing home deaths despite claims they couldn’t be ‘verified,’ document shows
- [LLODO] Cuomo accuser gives details of alleged groping incident: ‘He slammed the door’
- [LLODO] Cuomo grilled about reports of family getting COVID testing priority
- [LLODO] Cuomo accuser gives details of alleged groping incident: ‘He slammed to door’
- [LLODO] Cuomo uses vaccine presser to cite year from ‘hell’ over personal scandals
- [LLODO] Cuomo pressed on decision to hold public events without media members amid ongoing controversies