ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Many lawmakers are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation and the top two democrats in the state legislature are questioning his ability to lead. However, the Governor has adamantly declared that he will not be stepping down.
On Wednesday, assembly republicans said if he refused to resign, then it was time to move forward with an impeachment. They introduced a resolution to remove the Governor from office.
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said between the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations and the questions still swirling around nursing home death data, the time has come to impeach Governor Cuomo.
“In order to lead this great state as a Governor you need to have credibility and trust. You need to have credibility and trust and unfortunately we feel the Governor has lost that and now has the inability to lead,” said Barclay.
He said the fact that about thirty democratic lawmakers have called for the Governor to resign, including Senator Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart Cousins, says a lot.
“We’re hoping that by doing this we’ll keep reminding the majorities that it’s time for them to act. If they really believe in resignation, why not start the impeachment process?” said Barclay.
Republican Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh said the resolution would have to pass by a majority in the assembly. The Governor would then be required to resign and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would step in while a senate trial got underway. About 30 democratic lawmakers have already called for his resignation.
“We would need to pick up a couple extra and have the ones who already said it follow through, but I think we’re getting pretty close to that critical mass of the vote we would need to pass it,” said Assemblywoman Walsh.
She said it will also come down to what Speaker Heastie wants to do.
Democratic Assemblyman John McDonald said they shouldn’t be putting the cart before the horse. He’s not making any decisions until the Attorney General’s investigation is complete. He said we need to wait for facts and evidence from an independent entity in order to proceed.
“I understand where they’re coming from, however, I think at the end of the day whether you like an individual or not, there is due process and that is what is happening right now, due process. That’s what our constitution is built on and that’s what I’m going to follow. So if the minority wants to continue with their impeachment resolution that’s fine, that’s up to them,” said Assemblyman McDonald.
“I don’t see why it’s mutually exclusive. I mean we certainly support an investigation we look forward to the Attorney General using her subpoena powers and getting to the bottom of the problems. We look forward to the Department of Justice using their ability to investigate to see the nursing homes fatalities and the misreporting that the Governor had there, but as I said the reason we think we need to go forward now is when you have thirty members of the majority saying he ought to resign, I don’t know how many in the Senate, but then you have the leadership, how do you govern with that against you?” said Barclay.
Assemblyman McDonald estimates the Attorney General’s investigation will take about a month or so to complete which means it will essentially run parallel to budget negotiations. He said the Governor is a very “demanding executive” and that he does not think that would interfere with getting the job done for New Yorkers.