New York Senate Could Start Andrew Cuomo Impeachment Trial 'in Weeks,' State Senator Says

The New York Senate could begin an impeachment trial for Governor Andrew Cuomo "in weeks," a state Senator said—following a report released Tuesday by the state's attorney general that found the governor sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Cuomo denied the report's findings, and the state Assembly convened a virtual meeting to debate on whether to impeach him or see if he will quit amid numerous calls for his resignation, including one from President Joe Biden.

Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, a Democrat, told the AP if the Assembly votes for Cuomo's impeachment, "it could happen very quickly."

"We'll be ready to go if and when the impeachment articles are sent over," Gianaris said.

It will take at least 76 Assembly votes from its 150 members to forward articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to oust Cuomo by impeachment. Meanwhile, he is still planning to run for a fourth term as governor in 2022.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

NYC Protesters Against Gov. Andrew Cuomo
The New York Senate could start an impeachment trial for Gov. Andrew Cuomo "in weeks," a state senator told the Associated Press following an investigative report that found he sexually harassed multiple women. In this photo, supporters of Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa hold placards denouncing Cuomo outside his office in New York City on August 4, 2021. Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

Cuomo denied that he made any inappropriate sexual advances and insisted the findings didn't reflect the facts. But while political pressure grew, so did the potential for criminal charges against the third-term Democratic governor.

District attorneys in Manhattan, suburban Westchester County and the state capital of Albany said they have asked for investigative materials from the inquiry, led by Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James.

Assembly Democrats, who lead the chamber, debated virtually for hours Tuesday about whether to impeach the governor now, wait to see whether he resigns, or give the Assembly Judiciary Committee time to wrap up its wide-ranging investigation into topics from sexual misconduct to the Cuomo administration's months-long obfuscation of the total number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19.

Gianaris said the chamber has been preparing for a potential impeachment trial for months.

The Assembly includes 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans and one Independent.

At least two dozen Assembly Democrats called for impeachment in public statements issued Tuesday, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press. Some said the Assembly should vote for impeachment now, while others said the chamber should impeach Cuomo if he doesn't resign.

Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay urged Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, to convene an emergency special session to vote to impeach Cuomo.

James' investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers, painted what she called "a deeply disturbing yet clear picture" of a governor who touched or made sexually inappropriate comments to a series of women, many of whom worked for him. One is a state trooper whom Cuomo successfully sought to have assigned to his security detail.

While many of the allegations against Cuomo involve verbal comments, some women have also alleged that he gave them unwanted kisses or touches. One aide said the governor reached under her shirt and groped her breast at the governor's mansion in Albany.

The governor denied Tuesday that he ever inappropriately touched anyone, said that he never intended harm and cast doubt on the political motivations of investigators, accusers and critics.

To date, Cuomo has rebuffed calls to step down.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James
The New York Senate could begin an impeachment trial for Governor Andrew Cuomo "in weeks," a state senator said. In this photo, New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a press conference, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in New York. Ted Shaffrey/AP Photo