New York Republicans Take First Step Toward Impeaching Andrew Cuomo

New York Republicans are preparing a resolution to impeach Governor Andrew Cuomo, announcing Monday that sexual harassment allegations and undercounting COVID-19 nursing home deaths have created "one bombshell after another."

State Assembly Republican leader Will Barclay held a press conference Monday in Albany to announce the first state legislature efforts to impeach Cuomo. Barclay cited the four separate claims of sexual misconduct, reports of his administration bullying state lawmakers and his undercounting of nursing home deaths following a controversial order to remove infected patients from hospitals. On Sunday, Cuomo refused to offer his resignation for a second time after two more ex-aides came forward with additional allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior which spans several years.

"We're going to introduce this resolution because we believe the time has come," Barclay said. "In order to lead this great state as governor, you need to have credibility and trust ... and unfortunately we feel the governor has lost that and now has an inability to lead," Barclay announced Monday.

"There's been one bombshell after another," Barlay added, noting that lawmakers from both political parties have no choice but to introduce an impeachment resolution.

There are currently two separate investigations delving into the third-term governor's behavior in office and his reported undercounting of pandemic deaths. The New York attorney general's office is probing potential hostile workplace environment claims stemming from the harassment allegations. And a federal Department of Justice investigation is looking into whether or not Cuomo aides lied about nursing home death data at the height of the pandemic. The federal probe could lead to obstruction of justice charges coming down from the Justice Department, legal experts say.

Four women have come forth to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior over the past two weeks. As the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, one former aide said Cuomo "asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her 'sweetheart,' touched her on her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand she rose from her desk."

A poll last week found a majority of New Yorkers don't want the governor to resign, but they do not want him to seek a fourth term in office in the next election. The Albany-based newspaper which endorsed Cuomo during all three past gubernatorial campaigns, the Times-Union, turned its back on him last week and joined the growing demands for his resignation. Unlike many states, New York does not have a recall function and instead requires a two-thirds majority of the state assembly to vote to impeach the governor in order to remove him from office.

"It is time for Mr. Cuomo to resign, and for those who helped him deceive the public to go, too," the Times-Union editorial board wrote in the opinion piece.

Newsweek reached out to Cuomo's office and Barclay's Albany office for additional remarks Monday afternoon.

andrew cuomo governor resign impeachment
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo greets people after speaking at a vaccination site at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on March 8, 2021 in New York City. Cuomo has been called to resign from his position after allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against him. SETH WENIG / Staff/Getty Images