What an impeachment of New York Gov. Cuomo would look like
The Associated Press says at least 82 of the assembly’s 150 members have said publicly or told The AP they favor initiating the process of ousting the third-term governor over sexual harassment allegations if he doesn’t quit. That’s more than the simple majority needed of 76.
It would be New York’s first impeachment in 100 years.
The process has similarities to a federal impeachment but also has some differences.
“The right thing to do for the state of New York would be for this governor to spare the state of New York to have to go through this and resign,” said Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury.
If an impeachment trial were to happen, it would start in the Assembly.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee already has its own investigation into the allegations against Governor Cuomo and will add the information and evidence found in Attorney General Letitia James’ report.
“What we have right now is a report, and everyone says the report is damning and it is,” said Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake.
From there, the judiciary committee will take its findings to all members of the Assembly.
“Right now with the evidence that I have seen and in reading reports, it’s hard to say how you’ll vote on a certain thing on a certain day, but if the governor doesn’t resign, I am willing to vote yes on impeachment,” Jones said.
If a majority in the Assembly votes to impeach, a trial would start in the Senate.
“I will listen to all of the evidence but all the evidence out there that we have publicly seen is pretty damning,” Stec said.
After all evidence and findings are presented-- including a defense from the governor and his attorney-- there’s a vote. All 63 of New York’s state senators cast ballots, so do seven Appellate Court judges. A conviction requires two-thirds to vote against the governor.
“I will be very surprised if we uncover anything different, contrary to what we have already seen in the Senate trial but we will cross that bridge when we come to it,” Stec said.
It’s unclear what the impeachment process would look like, whether it would be in person or virtual because of the pandemic and the timeline is still up in the air.
“We owe it to the people of the state of New York to get this going, to get the process moving as quickly as we can because we need to return to the people’s business,” Jones said.
Both Jones and Stec agree on this: “We have to do what we feel is right and we owe it to those women, we owe it to any woman that works in a workplace to do what is right,” Jones said.
One of the big differences here from a state level to federal is if the Assembly chooses to move forward with impeachment, Cuomo will be taken out of office immediately for the trial. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will step up in the interim. If Cuomo is impeached, Hochul will remain governor until the term ends in 2022.
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