State Watch

Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP

Over 80 New York state Assembly lawmakers said they would support starting the process of impeaching Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) if he decides not to resign, one day after an independent inquiry found that the governor had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Of the legislative body's 150 members, at least 86 lawmakers told The Associated Press or have publicly stated that they would support beginning the process to impeach Cuomo if he does not step down, the wire service reported.

AP reported that an impeachment trial can be authorized if a majority of lawmakers support the motion. However, 76 votes are required for the assembly to send articles of impeachment to the state Senate. 

On Tuesday, state Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced the results of an investigation finding that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, saying he violated state and federal laws. It follows an investigation she launched after several women came forward alleging sexual misconduct including groping and inappropriate comments.

"These interviews and pieces of evidence reveal a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture: Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws. The independent investigation found that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging and by making inappropriate comments," James said during a press conference on Tuesday.

James also said that the three-term governor and some of his team have retaliated against at least one person who came forward with accusations.

According to CNN, four district attorneys offices have asked for investigative materials that the New York attorney general received to see if any of the accounts included in the materials happened within their respective areas and could be considered crimes. 

Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing and claimed in a speech on Tuesday "that is just not who I am."

"First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that's not who I have ever been," he said.

The number of New York lawmakers supporting impeachment proceedings comes in the wake of a host of Democrats, including President Biden, both New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and even the state's Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, calling on the governor to resign.

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