NY Impeachment Committee Unlikely to Act Before Friday, Cuomo's Deadline to Submit Evidence

The New York State Assembly might not take any official action in impeachment proceedings against Governor Andrew Cuomo until Friday—the final date legislators gave the Democrat to submit additional evidence.

"We will not take any official action at least until after that Friday at 5 o'clock deadline," Assemblyman David Weprin told NY1. "So we'd like to see what he's going to submit and consider that. But clearly the allegations are very troublesome, very serious."

The Assembly's judiciary committee has been investigating Cuomo's conduct in office since March, looking at whether there are grounds to impeach the governor over sexual harassment allegations.

Calls to remove Cuomo from office have mounted after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a 168-page report finding that the governor sexually harassed 11 women, nine of whom are former or current state employees.

"Specifically, the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive sexual nature, that created a hostile work environment for women," James said at a press conference.

State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, the judiciary committee's chairman, announced last Thursday that the probe was nearing completion. Lavine said Cuomo's defense team must submit any additional evidence or written submissions by 5 p.m. ET on August 13.

Cuomo Impeachment Inquiry Unlikely Act Before Friday
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has until Friday to provide additional evidence and information to state legislators for their impeachment inquiry. Above, Cuomo speaks during a news conference at his office on March 24, 2021, in New York City. Brendan McDermid/Pool/Getty Images

On Monday, the committee will be receiving an update on the independent investigation from Davis Polk & Wardwell, the outside counsel hired by the Assembly earlier this year.

Lavine opened Monday's hearing by calling James' report "deeply disturbing" and vowed to protect the witnesses who come forward during the investigation.

"At the very beginning of this investigation, the Judiciary Committee served formal notice on the executive chamber that there was to be no retaliation against any potential witness or witnesses in this matter," Lavine said. "And we remain committed to that principle. We will protect the alleged victims and the witnesses."

The chairman is expected to provide a more detailed timeline of the impeachment proceedings following Monday's briefing by Davis Polk & Wardwell.

The law firm has also been investigating the Cuomo administration's handling of coronavirus in nursing homes, preferential COVID-19 testing and allegations related to the use of state resources in connection with Cuomo's memoir.

Cuomo has denied all allegations, saying he never touched anyone inappropriately or made sexual advances. Cuomo said the facts are "much different" than what was portrayed in the attorney general's report.

The governor's adviser, Rich Azzopardi, said in a statement that the governor would cooperate with the Assembly and its investigators.

If the judiciary committee were to recommend impeachment charges to the Assembly, a simple majority vote would lead to a trial in the New York State Senate. State law requires Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins to start a trial between 30 and 60 days after charges are filed.