After the revelation of the ‘explosives’ results of the investigation carried out by the State Attorney General’s Office into the accusations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo, the president gave signs that he does not intend to leave office despite increasing pressure to to resign. And that is why now its future is in the hands of the State Assembly, which carries out a investigation that would lead to an ‘Impeachment’, a political trial, which can end in the removal of the highest executive of the State.
And that is why all eyes are now on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has become ‘the man of the moment’ by bearing the weight of responsibility for decide the future of the Governor.
“We have received the 168 page report from the Attorney General containing the findings of sexual harassment and misconduct by Governor Cuomo. The findings included in the report are disturbing. The details provided by the victims are heartbreaking, ”Heastie said when confirming that the Assembly had received the documentation from the office of the fiscal general Letitia James.
And about the impeachment, he specifically said that the report “has been sent to the members of the Judicial Committee, as well as to all the members of the Assembly. Now we will carry out an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding annexes with our advisers in the Assembly, as well as with the law firm that we have hired to help us ”.
Ante la pressure that the Lower House of the State Legislature will have In order for him to advance as soon as possible on the ‘Impeachment’, Heastie clarified: “We will act quickly and we will seek to conclude our impeachment investigation as soon as possible.”
Heastie knows that now all the attention is on that impeachment process, because as he himself acknowledged, “The Governor’s conduct described in this report shows someone who is unfit for office.”
The impeachment trial against Cuomo, which will be the first against a New York Governor in more than 100 years, is a great challenge for Heastie not only because it is a member of the same Democratic PartyBut also because he has been her ally in the three consecutive terms she has won since 2011.
How impeachment works in NY
After the accusations against the Governor and after the announcement that the State Attorney General would do an investigation, Heastie announced the opening of her own inquiry in the Assembly, and which would also include investigating not only cases of sexual harassment, but also complaints that indicate that the Government altered the actual numbers of deaths from COVID- 19 in nursing homes and the allegations that Cuomo used public funds to publish his book on managing the pandemic. However, on Tuesday there were signs that now the lower house will focus on speeding up a process focused only on the results of the report presented by James’ office.
The Assembly has the power to initiate an impeachment, as does the House of Representatives initiates the ‘Impeachment’ procedures in the federal Congress. The Lower House in Albany only needs a simple majority to pass an impeachment resolution, which means 76 of its 150 members. This means that if all 43 Republicans vote in favor, it would be necessary to have at least 33 assembly members from the Democratic majority.
Then, if the impeachment resolution is approved in the Assembly, it goes to the Senate where the Governor would face a trial. And as did former President Donald Trump in his two political trials in Washington, Cuomo would also be allowed to hire his own attorneys.
An impeachment court would be formed in the Senate, and if two thirds of those present in that court, who would be 46 members of the jury, vote to convict the Governor, he would be removed from office and also prohibited from holding elected public office in the future. But you could still run for municipal or federal offices, like Mayor for example, Congress or even President.
Once the trial begins, the jurors would be the same members of the Senate and the seven judges of the Court of Appeals. But of all senators, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins could not be a member of that court, because her position is part of the line of succession for Governor after Vice Governor.
A woman as a Governor
Unlike a impeachment against the President of the country in the federal Congress, in which the president is allowed to continue in office until the process ends and the Senate votes if he dismisses him to no, as happened twice with Donald Trump, the ‘Impeachment’ process in the State establishes that the Governor must step down while on trial in the State Legislature and therefore would have to assume the next in line of succession, in this case Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
After learning the results of the investigation on Tuesday, Hochul said in a statement that the conduct documented in the report was “repulsive and unlawful,” and that it is now up to the Assembly to “determine what the next step is.”
Since the Attorney General’s Office began the investigation, the lieutenant governor avoided commenting on it, recognizing her position that in the event of Cuomo’s departure, she would have to assume her position on an interim basis.
Hochul, 62, would become the first woman in New York history to become Governor. The last time a Lieutenant Governor had to take office as Governor was in 2008, when David Paterson replaced the democrat Eliot Spitzar who was forced to resign after a prostitution scandal.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.