Lawmakers give New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deadline in impeachment inquiry – .

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Lawmakers give New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deadline in impeachment inquiry – .


ALBANY, NY – State lawmakers told New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday that their ongoing investigation into his conduct in office was nearing completion and gave him an Aug. 13 deadline to provide further evidence as they were heading into what seemed to be an increasingly inevitable impeachment battle.

Since March, the Assembly Judiciary Committee has been investigating whether there are grounds to impeach the Democratic governor over allegations of sexual harassment, misleading the public about COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and using the government resources and personnel for its $ 5 million book contract.

In a letter sent Thursday, the law firm leading the investigation, Davis Polk & Wardwell, reminded Cuomo’s legal team that it has subpoenaed certain documents and expects “full compliance of the governor ”, but his response time was almost up.

“We are writing to let you know that the Committee’s investigation is drawing to a close and that the Assembly will soon be considering possible articles of indictment against your client,” they wrote. “Accordingly, we invite you to provide any additional evidence or written submission that you would like the Committee to consider before the end of its work. “

The letter was made public by Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine, a Democrat from Long Island.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement that the governor will cooperate.

“The Assembly said it was conducting a full and thorough review of the complaints and provided the governor and his team with an opportunity to present the facts and their views,” he wrote. “The governor appreciates the opportunity.

The Judicial Commission has set its next meeting on the matter for Monday.

Findings of an independent investigation overseen by state attorney general Letitia James, released earlier this week, said Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women and his administration retaliated against at least the one of them for making his allegations public.

Cuomo has denied making inappropriate sexual advances and insists the findings do not reflect the facts. He has resisted numerous calls for his resignation from most of New York’s main Democrats and national figures like President Joe Biden.

The governor has not made himself available to reporters since the report was released on Tuesday and has not appeared in public. Photos published by the New York Post showed him working out on Thursday from a lounge chair by the pool at the Executive Mansion in Albany.

His office continued to produce press releases on various administrative initiatives, as if to give the impression that Cuomo was continuing to rule as usual, but his political isolation was clear.

At least 97 of the 150 assembly members have said they will impeach Cuomo if he does not resign, according to an Associated Press tally based on interviews and public statements. Only a simple majority is needed to start an impeachment trial.

When asked if Cuomo could try to haggle out of impeachment or call for it, Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from New York, said there was no way for it.

“I know the political animal he is. I’m sure if he could do it he would, but I don’t think anyone is talking to him, ”he said. “He’s someone who is politically stuck with nowhere to go but through the door. The sooner he comes to that realization, the better. “

Dozens of lawmakers have told The Associated Press in recent days that they fear Cuomo is too distracted to lead.

On Thursday afternoon, state education commissioner Betty Rosa sent a letter to state health commissioner suggesting the administration had let the scandal hamper important policy decisions about the reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had announced earlier today that the state would not release long-promised reopening guidelines and would instead leave the matter to local school districts. Rosa asked him to reconsider.

“The circumstances surrounding the Executive Chamber this week should not prevent the health ministry from exercising its responsibilities to the public, as the governor’s office has been promising for months,” his department said in a press release.

District attorneys for Manhattan counties, suburbs of Westchester and Nassau and the state capital of Albany said they requested investigative documents from the investigation to see if any of the allegations could lead to criminal charges.

Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes added to the list of interested prosecutors on Thursday, telling WSYR-TV he would begin investigating an incident involving a woman who testified that Cuomo ran two fingers over her chest and grazed the area between her shoulder and her breasts at a conservation event in the upstate in May 2017.

One of Cuomo’s accusers said he groped his chest. Others said he gave them unwanted kisses or touched parts of their bodies in a way that made them uncomfortable.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the Assembly Judiciary Committee would first complete its investigation “as quickly as possible” before the chamber votes on the articles of impeachment.

But it is far from clear how long it will take: several members of the judiciary committee estimate weeks or even a month.

Clark asked legislative leaders if the Assembly could submit articles of impeachment on harassment first and add more conclusions later. But committee member Tom Abinanti, a Democrat, said he supported waiting for the investigation to be completed and writing full articles that could withstand legal scrutiny.

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Associated Press editors David Klepper in Providence, Rhode Island, and Mike Catalini in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to the report.

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