The leader of the New York State Assembly, himself a Democrat, announced on Thursday that he had authorized an impeachment inquiry to be opened against Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the numerous allegations of sexual harassment made in recent weeks.
Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in his statement that the allegations against Cuomo were serious enough to warrant the investigation.
“After meeting with the Assembly Majority Conference today, I am authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation, led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, to examine allegations of misconduct against Governor Cuomo,” wrote Heastie.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious. The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution. I have the utmost faith that Assemblymember Lavine and the members of the committee will conduct an expeditious, full and thorough investigation,” he added.
“This inquiry will not interfere with the independent investigation being conducted by Attorney General James,” Heastie concluded.
Cuomo is facing numerous allegations of sexual harassment ranging from unwanted touching to claims constituting criminal battery.
The embattled Democrat has addressed many of the accusations and claimed that they were the result of misunderstandings, but he has not admitted to committing unwanted physical contact with the accusers.
On Wednesday a sixth accuser came forward and claimed that Cuomo had reached under her blouse and “aggressively groped” her while they were both in the governor’s mansion in 2020.
Cuomo is also facing the backlash from numerous scandals surrounding his decision to order coronavirus patients to be treated at nursing homes during the height of the pandemic. More than ten thousand deaths ensued and his administration has admitted to hiding some of the data from the lethal and egregious debacle.
59 Democratic state legislators have already called for Cuomo to resign.
Here’s more about the allegations against Cuomo: