New York Lawmakers Warn Cuomo to Submit Evidence Immediately as Impeachment Probe Nears Completion
16:05 GMT 05.08.2021 (Updated: 16:57 GMT 05.08.2021)
District attorneys in four separate New York jurisdictions have requested evidence from the sexual harassment probe into embattled governor Andrew Cuomo to determine if his conduct warrants criminal charges. This week, a probe ordered by the New York attorney general’s office in February concluded that the governor sexually harassed 11 women.
The New York state legislature is wrapping up its impeachment probe against Governor Cuomo over his alleged sexual misconduct, and is asking his lawyers to submit any evidence immediately for it to be considered in their investigation.
In a letter to Cuomo’s lawyers on Thursday, David Polk & Wardwell LLP, a New York City law firm hired to lead the impeachment probe in March, warned that “the Committee’s investigation is nearing completion” and that the State Assembly would “soon consider potential articles of impeachment” against the governor.
“Accordingly, we invite you to provide any additional evidence or written submissions that you would like the Committee to consider before its work concludes,” the letter added. The law firm gave Cuomo’s counsel until 5 pm next Friday to submit any materials it might have.
The State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, which hired David Polk & Wardwell LLP to conduct its probe, is set to meet in Albany on Monday to discuss the case.
The lawmakers’ probe is separate from the investigation being conducted by the New York attorney general’s office, which determined on Tuesday that Cuomo made inappropriate comments to, groped, or otherwise harassed at least 11 current and former employees, in violation of multiple state and federal laws. It’s also separate from criminal inquiries being launched by district attorneys in four New York districts where Cuomo’s misconduct is alleged to have taken place.
Along with the harassment allegations, the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation was tasked with determining whether there was evidence to support reports that Cuomo’s coronavirus guidelines for nursing homes in the spring of 2020 led to the needless deaths of thousands of seniors. The assembly has yet to comment on the matter, and last month the Department of Justice said it would not investigate Cuomo and other governors over their coronavirus guidelines in spite of the deaths.
A defiant Cuomo has refused to resign amid calls for him to do so by President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (who is reported to be gunning for Cuomo’s job), and other senior Democratic officials. On Wednesday, de Blasio called for Cuomo to be criminally charged for his actions.
The governor has accused his political enemies of plotting a political witch hunt against him, and suggested that “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed.” In a television appearance on Tuesday after the attorney general’s office released its report, Cuomo apologised for any comments he said may have been construed as sexually suggestive, and insisted that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who became the first to publicly accuse Cuomo of harassment in late 2020, announced plans to sue the governor and his staff on Wednesday over their purported attempts to smear and discredit her after she made the allegations.