sunny.png
Thursday September 23rd, 2021 4:45PM

How Cuomo investigation, possible impeachment could play out

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has urged New Yorkers to “wait for the facts."

Patience, though, has grown thin. The state's two U.S. senators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and most of the other 29 members of New York's congressional delegation have called for his resignation. In the state legislature, more than 120 lawmakers have called on the Democrat to quit.

Leaders in the state Assembly on Thursday announced an impeachment investigation, a first step toward potentially removing Cuomo from office.

Cuomo has rebuffed calls to resign and staked his political future on the outcome of an independent investigation by Attorney General Letitia James, who is examining allegations that the governor sexually harassed or inappropriately touched several female aides.

Here’s a look at the next steps on a possible road to impeachment:

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S INVESTIGATION

James, an independently elected Democrat, hired former Acting U.S Attorney Joon Kim and employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark to lead her inquiry into the governor's workplace conduct.

The investigative team will have the power to subpoena documents and interview witnesses. Its findings will go in a public report.

Cuomo has since said that he will “fully cooperate.”

James lacks power to unilaterally remove Cuomo from office, but any findings corroborating the allegations could sway potential impeachment proceedings — or add pressure for Cuomo to leave voluntarily.

Kim and Clark may choose to limit their scope to allegations that are already public, or broaden it to look for other women who might have complaints about Cuomo's behavior.

James’ office sent a letter last week instructing the governor's office to preserve all evidence related to the harassment allegations. That could include documents and emails to and from Cuomo’s staff, calendar entries and communications involving the transfer of one of his accusers to another office.

There is no deadline for completing the investigation and James hasn't said how long she expects it to take. A 2010 investigation that Cuomo oversaw as attorney general into his predecessor, Gov. David Paterson, lasted about five months.

Andrew G. Celli Jr., who was chief of the civil rights bureau in the office of attorney general from 1999 to 2003, said that while James is a Democrat, her independence would allow her to to “do what she thinks is in the best interest of all the people, even if that means an adverse finding to the governor.”

THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

The Assembly’s Judiciary Committee will also have power to subpoena documents and witness testimony. It could rely on work done by the attorney general's team of investigators, or gather its own evidence.

The scope of its inquiry might go beyond Cuomo’s conduct with women. The governor is also under fire for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the state’s nursing homes.

Many lawmakers have been outraged that the Cuomo administration declined, for months, to release the full number of nursing home patients killed by the virus.

The governor's office said some of the data, related to deaths of nursing home patients who had been transferred to hospitals, was unreliable. But in a recorded conference call with lawmakers, Cuomo's top aide said the administration withheld the data in late summer because it was afraid the fatality numbers could be “used against us."

Federal investigators are scrutinizing how the Cuomo administration handled data about nursing home deaths.

The committee's work could result in the drafting of articles of impeachment against Cuomo, though that outcome is far from certain.

One of the women who has reportedly accused Cuomo of groping her has not spoken publicly about what happened and it is unclear whether she would be willing to offer public testimony in an impeachment trial.

THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

New York's process for impeaching and removing a governor from office has some parallels — and some important differences — to the process the U.S. Congress uses for impeaching presidents.

Like at the federal level, New York impeachments starts in lower house of the legislature — in this case, the Assembly. If a majority of members vote to impeach Cuomo, a trial on his removal from office would be held in what's known as the Impeachment Court.

The court consists not only of members of the state Senate, but also judges of the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, who would also cast votes. There are seven appeals court judges and 63 senators, though not all would serve on the impeachment court.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (HOH-kull) and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins are also members, but they are excluded when a governor is on trial. At least two-thirds of the jurors must vote to convict in order to remove Cuomo.

Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature. Many have joined Republicans in calling for Cuomo's resignation or impeachment in recent days. Cuomo has appointed all seven members of the Court of Appeals.

New York has only impeached a governor once, in 1913, when Gov. William Sulzer was bounced after 289 days in office in what he claimed was retribution for turning his back on the powerful Tammany Hall Democratic machine.

Sulzer, accused of failing to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and commingling campaign funds with personal funds, blasted the court’s secret deliberations, complaining: “A horse thief in frontier days would have received a squarer deal."

SIDELINING CUOMO

If Cuomo were impeached by the Assembly, state law might force him to step aside immediately — a dramatic difference from what happens when the U.S. president is impeached.

A section of the state's judicial code regarding impeachment states: “No officer shall exercise his office, after articles of impeachment against him shall have been delivered to the senate, until he is acquitted.”

According to the state constitution, the lieutenant governor would then take over.

“In case the governor is impeached, is absent from the state or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor until the inability shall cease or until the term of the governor shall expire,” the constitution states.

When Sulzer was impeached, Lt. Gov. Martin Glynn was appointed acting governor.

If Cuomo were to be acquitted in an impeachment court, he would return to office. If the Impeachment Court were to remove him from office, Hochul would serve out the remainder of Cuomo's term — through the end of 2022. The court could also opt to disqualify him from holding office in the future, on top of removing him.

___

Villeneuve reported from Albany, New York.

___

On Twitter, follow Michael Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak and Marina Villeneuve at https://twitter.com/reportermarina.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Police detain participants in Russian opposition forum
Russian police have detained over 170 participants at a forum of independent members of municipal councils, an action that comes amid the authorities’ multi-pronged crackdown on dissent
7:52AM ( 16 minutes ago )
How Cuomo investigation, possible impeachment could play out
Gov_ Andrew Cuomo has urged New Yorkers to “wait for the facts.”
7:43AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Democrats finding support for Biden in small-city America
Democrats are looking for new sources of political strength as the election map is shifting
7:41AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Black scholar: It's time France confronts its colonial past
A Black French scholar and expert on U.S. minority rights movements who is taking charge of France’s state-run immigration museum says it’s “vital” for his country to confront its colonial past so that it can conquer present racial injustice
2:54AM ( 5 hours ago )
Democrats find support for Biden in small-city America
Democrats are looking for new sources of political strength as the election map is shifting
12:32AM ( 7 hours ago )
Democratic push to revive earmarks divides Republicans
A dirty word for many Republicans is making the rounds on Capitol Hill — earmarks
12:30AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP National News
New Zealand marks 2 years since Christchurch mosque killings
New Zealand has marked the second anniversary of a shooting massacre in which 51 worshippers were killed at two Christchurch mosques by a white supremacist
11:32PM ( 8 hours ago )
Top Dems call on Cuomo to resign amid harassment allegations
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, adding the most powerful Democratic voices yet to calls for the governor to leave office in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and groping
10:37PM ( 9 hours ago )
'Gonna be sore:' La. troopers boasted of beating Black man
New court filings show Louisiana State Police troopers joked in a group text about beating a Black man after a high-speed chase last year, saying the beating would give the man “nightmares for a long time.”
9:20PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online National News
More than 1,000 Guard troops now leaving DC; others stay on
More than 1,000 National Guard members will be leaving Washington, D
6:31PM ( 13 hours ago )
Schumer, Gillibrand call on NY Gov. Cuomo to resign
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, adding the most powerful Democratic voices yet to calls for the governor to leave office in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and groping
6:13PM ( 13 hours ago )
Despite hacks, US not seeking widened domestic surveillance
The Biden administration is not planning to step up government surveillance of the U.S. internet even as foreign hackers increasingly take advantage of it
6:10PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Biden was Sheriff Joe on '09 aid, now salesman on COVID law
In 2009, then-Vice President Joe Biden acted as “Sheriff Joe” in making sure federal dollars from a massive economic aid package were getting to the right places and getting there quickly
1:37PM ( 18 hours ago )
Former presidents, first ladies urge Americans to get shots
Four former presidents are urging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as COVID-19 doses are available to them, as part of a campaign to overcome hesitancy for the shots
8:54AM ( 1 day ago )
Amanda Gorman says she was racially profiled near her home
Poet Amanda Gorman says a security guard racially profiled her while she was walking home Friday night
12:17PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Online President, White House, advisers News
Nonprofits hail anti-poverty aspects of COVID relief measure
Nonprofit advocates have hailed Congress’ passage of a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure that has the potential to lift millions of people out of poverty at a scale not seen since the New Deal
1:25PM ( 18 hours ago )
Longtime Arizona Rep. Kirkpatrick won't seek 2022 reelection
Five-term Arizona Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick has announced she won't run for reelection to the U.S. House in 2022
9:30AM ( 22 hours ago )
Biden aims for quicker shots, 'independence from this virus'
President Joe Biden has outlined his plan to make all adult Americans eligible for vaccination by May 1 — and he raised the prospect of beginning to gain what he called “independence from this virus” by the Fourth of July
8:15AM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Senate confirms Fudge to lead housing agency, Regan for EPA
The Senate has confirmed Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development and North Carolina regulator Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency
6:17PM ( 2 days ago )
Senate confirms Ohio Rep. Fudge as housing secretary
The Senate has confirmed Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development
5:35PM ( 2 days ago )
Senate confirms Merrick Garland to be US attorney general
The Senate has confirmed Merrick Garland to be the next U.S. attorney general with a strong bipartisan vote, placing the widely-respected, veteran judge in the post as President Joe Biden has vowed to restore the Justice Department’s reputation for independence
4:21PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
The Latest: US health officials warn of false positives
U.S. health officials are warning health professionals about the risk of false positive results with a widely used laboratory test for COVID-19 and flu
11:24PM ( 8 hours ago )
Hawaii town blocked by landslide launches makeshift ferry
Volunteers on Kauai’s north shore in Hawaii have launched a makeshift ferry service across a river after a landslide along a two-lane highway cut several towns off from the rest of the island
8:48PM ( 11 hours ago )
Black Lives Matter backs Amazon union push in Alabama
Organizers trying to form the first union at an Amazon warehouse are getting support from another big name: Black Lives Matter
5:11PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business
Police detain participants in Russian opposition forum
Russian police have detained over 170 participants at a forum of independent members of municipal councils, an action that comes amid the authorities’ multi-pronged crackdown on dissent
7:52AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Democrats finding support for Biden in small-city America
Democrats are looking for new sources of political strength as the election map is shifting
7:41AM ( 26 minutes ago )
UK policeman charged with woman's murder appears in court
A serving British police officer accused of the kidnap and murder of a woman in London has appeared in court for the first time
6:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 5 EU nations seek talks on vaccine distribution
The leaders of Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Bulgaria are calling for talks among European Union leaders about the distribution of vaccines
5:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
One very jumbled year: Glimpses of AP's pandemic journalism
Most Americans didn’t know this week last year was their last chance at normalcy
5:00AM ( 3 hours ago )