OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
New York State lawmakers on Thursday opened an impeachment inquiry into Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo after multiple women have accused him of either sexual assault or harassment.
After a three-hour emergency meeting, the State Assembly announced that it would give its judiciary committee broad jurisdiction to investigate allegations of misconduct against Cuomo, including the sexual harassment claims and his administration’s handling of virus-related deaths of nursing home patients, Bloomberg reported.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” the Assembly speaker, Carl E. Heastie, a Democrat, said in a statement, adding that the “impeachment investigation” will encompass interviewing witnesses, subpoenaing documents, and evaluating evidence.
The announcement came on the same day that 59 Democrats in the State Legislature — about 40 percent of the party’s members in the Assembly and the Senate — signed on to a statement demanding that Cuomo immediately resign in the wake of allegations from women, including current and former aides, who have accused him of harassment or inappropriate behavior.
Hours later, the police in Albany, N.Y., confirmed that they had been notified of one such accusation by the New York State Police, an incident at the Executive Mansion that was characterized as something that might have risen “to the level of a crime.”
The walls are closing in on Cuomo after a sixth woman has accused him of sexual impropriety.
And now Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a former candidate for President of the United States, has called for the governor to resign.
The mayor was questioned about what he thought of the allegations against the governor, with whom he has had a rocky history, and what the governor should do.
“The latest report, and the fact that we can talk about how many people have come forward with accusations. It’s not one, it’s not two, it’s not three, it’s not four, it’s not five – it’s six women who have come forward,” the mayor said.
“It’s deeply troubling, the specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his – someone who he had power over – he called them to a place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable. It is disgusting to me,” he said. “He can no longer serve as governor. It’s as simple as that.”
“These six women have come forward with these powerful and painful stories – and particularly this most recent report is just disqualifying. He just can’t serve as governor anymore,” he said.
The sixth woman, a member of the executive chamber staff, was watching the governor’s press conference with others where he denied allegations made by Lindsey Boylan and said that he never inappropriately touched a woman.
The staffer became emotional and when asked why she reportedly told a female supervisor that the governor groped her under her blouse at the Executive Mansion where he called her to do work.
“As I said last week, this is very simple: I never touched anyone inappropriately,” the governor said on Tuesday. “I never made any inappropriate advances … (and) no one ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable. Obviously, there are people who said after the fact they felt uncomfortable.”
Even Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for an investigation into the governor.