Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie announced on Friday that lawmakers will suspend their impeachment proceedings against disgraced Governor Andrew Cuomo because they can’t constitutionally impeach him once he leaves office.
This means that Cuomo could potentially run for office again. The move hypocritically uses the constitutional defense which Democrats said didn’t apply to former President Donald Trump. It is being reported that Heastie did not consult the New York State Assembly before making the determination and it took all of them by surprise.
“There are two reasons for this decision. First, the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation was to determine whether Governor Cuomo should remain in office. The governor’s resignation answers that directive. Second, we have been advised by Chair Lavine – with the assistance of counsel – of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office,” Heastie asserted.
“Let me be clear — the committee’s work over the last several months, although not complete, did uncover credible evidence in relation to allegations that have been made in reference to the governor,” he declared.
(Video Credit: MSNBC)
“Underscoring the depth of this investigation, this evidence concerned not only sexual harassment and misconduct but also the misuse of state resources in relation to the publication of the governor’s memoir as well as improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he noted. “This evidence — we believe — could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned.”
New York Democrats are DROPPING the impeachment of @NYGovCuomo because they claim you can't impeach someone who has left office….I guess there is a different law in New York than the one DC Dems use
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) August 13, 2021
It is alleged that New York lawmakers just wanted Cuomo gone. But there are whispers out there that the disgraced governor had enough dirt on leaders in the state to take them down if they tried to prosecute him for his alleged crimes. The dropping of the investigation smacks of being a quid pro quo measure.
Heastie has denied that he reached any deal with Cuomo to let him resign without facing an impeachment trial or investigation.
“There was no deal,” he proclaimed in an interview with Spectrum News 1. “I’ve said that 150 times and I’ll make that the 151st time.”
Heastie contends that he requested that committee Chairman Charles Lavine turn over all evidence the panel gathered to the authorities.
The Friday news dump decision surprised a number of Democratic lawmakers and it upset many of Cuomo’s critics. They collectively called on the assembly to continue its impeachment process even after the three-term governor stepped down.
Members on the NYS Assembly Judiciary Committee, which was leading the impeachment investigation, say they were not consulted about this decision https://t.co/nVaQ1Dq3f3
— Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) August 13, 2021
The decision to suspend the impeachment investigation will allow Cuomo to run for re-election.
Assemblyman on the judiciary committee told me they were not consulted.
“Carl Heastie did this.”
Heastie said he not spoken to Cuomo since February and was not negotiating deal. https://t.co/Cikr19sDDA
— Bryan Llenas (@BryanLlenas) August 13, 2021
Cuomo resigned one week after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report that confirmed her office found that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. It also found that he retaliated against one of his accusers and his administration fostered a hostile workplace.
“After nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Gov. Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments,” James’ office announced in a statement.
Cuomo is denying the allegations and has done so for months.
He did say in his resignation speech that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions, deflecting by claiming that some of the complaints against him were a part of shifting cultural norms that he did not grasp.
“I have been too familiar with people,” Cuomo admitted. “My sense of humor can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all of my life. It’s who I have been since I can remember.”
“In my mind, I never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I didn’t fully appreciate, and I should have,” he remarked justifying his egregious actions.
There was widespread outrage that Cuomo’s impeachment was dropped:
Looks like Andrew Cuomo made a political deal with legislative leaders in New York. He quits because of sexual harassment, they drop impeachment and whitewash the nursing home scandal. Wicked!
— Rod Blagojevich (@realBlagojevich) August 13, 2021
Make no mistake about it.
Speaker Carl Heastie's decision to suspend the impeachment investigation of disgraced criminal Governor Andrew Cuomo makes every Albany Democrat complicit in his crimes and cover up.
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) August 13, 2021
My statement on the Assembly’s decision not to impeach Governor Andrew Cuomo.
By letting Governor Cuomo avoid accountability for his misconduct, the Assembly failed its moral and constitutional duty to New Yorkers. pic.twitter.com/HV95WGBvPR
— Yuh-Line Niou (@yuhline) August 13, 2021
➡️ Nearly everything that allowed for @NYGovCuomo’s decade of harm & tyranny is still in place.
➡️ Cuomo remains an extremely well-funded political figure.
➡️ And he has not, in any meaningful way, acknowledged his many abuses of power. https://t.co/uocVbHRq7g
— Jabari Brisport🌹 (@JabariBrisport) August 13, 2021
Resignation is not accountability. Andrew Cuomo must be impeached and never again allowed to hold a position of power.
— NY Working Families Party (@NYWFP) August 13, 2021
Failing to impeach Cuomo entitles him to his $50,000 a year state pension – funded by our tax dollars!
15,000 seniors murdered. At least 11 women’s lives ruined. Corruption beyond imagination.
But it’s all good. He gets to keep a salary and probably even run for office again!
— Desi Cuellar 🇺🇲🇨🇺 (@DesiJCuellar) August 13, 2021
My statement on impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo being dropped. pic.twitter.com/RYv3J5Yhd8
— Will Barclay (@WillABarclay) August 13, 2021
Everyone in NY should find out the addresses of all the members of the NY State Assembly Judiciary Committee and go make your voices heard ASAP for suspending Cuomo’s impeachment.
— Jonathan T Gilliam (@JGilliam_SEAL) August 13, 2021
Politicians love to drop bombshells on Friday afternoons.
— Annika Pergament (@AnnikaPergament) August 13, 2021
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