New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now facing an impeachment inquiry after the Democrat-controlled State Assembly, the lower house of the state Legislature, authorized an investigation Thursday into Cuomo’s simmering controversies. The probe will focus on the growing list of sexual misconduct claims made against the governor in recent weeks, as well as the Cuomo administration’s handling of data on nursing home deaths during the pandemic. Investigators are authorized to interview witnesses, as well as subpoena documents.
The move by Democratic lawmakers is the latest evidence of deteriorating party support for Cuomo as the list of damning accusations grows longer. A female aide said this week that Cuomo used the pretense of needing help with his phone to summon her to his private quarters at the governor’s mansion last year, before sticking his hand up her blouse. This latest accusation—the sixth instance of unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances—seems to have turned the tide against the Democratic governor, even among those in his own party, as 59 Democrats signed on to a statement Thursday demanding Cuomo’s resignation. That amounts to roughly 40 percent of the Democrats in the Assembly and Senate.
“The rapid-fire developments underscored how Mr. Cuomo’s once ironclad grip on Albany was fast weakening and left veteran lawmakers wondering aloud how he could continue to effectively govern,” the New York Times notes. “[The Assembly speaker] has signaled that he would not move forward with impeachment without a majority of his own Democratic conference, a common practice for almost all legislation in the 150-seat Assembly, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two-to-one.”