Politics

Cuomo impeachment probe nears end, governor agrees to give evidence to investigators

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Key Points
  • New York state lawmakers warned Gov. Andrew Cuomo's lawyers that the Assembly's impeachment probe into various accusations against the governor is nearing an end.
  • The investigators gave Cuomo's lawyers about a week to furnish any final evidence to the Judiciary Committee. A Cuomo spokesman said he would cooperate with the Assembly.
  • The request came two days after a scathing, detailed report that said Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks before receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, at a church in the Harlem section of New York, on March 17, 2021.
Seth Wenig | AFP | Getty Images

A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that the embattled Democrat "will be cooperating" with a state Assembly committee as an impeachment probe nears its end.

Earlier in the day, lawyers from the Assembly Judiciary Committee had warned Cuomo's attorneys that the impeachment investigation is wrapping up, and gave the governor until Aug. 13 to provide the panel with any evidence.

That deadline notice came two days after a scathing report by investigators retained by state Attorney General Letitia James concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women with unwanted physical contact and comments.

"The Committee's investigation is nearing completion and the Assembly will soon consider potential articles of impeachment against your client," the warning said.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi responded hours later.

"The Assembly has said it is doing a full and thorough review of the complaints and has offered the Governor and his team an opportunity to present facts and their perspective," he said. "The Governor appreciates the opportunity. We will be cooperating."

The Judiciary Committee launched its impeachment investigation in March, following initial accusations of sexual harassment made against Cuomo.

Committee staff members were also charged with investigating other allegations of wrongdoing by Cuomo, including whether his staff tried to hide or alter data on coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes and whether he misused state resources to promote a book he wrote about leadership in 2020.

Cuomo and his staff have denied these allegations.

The impeachment probe was conducted parallel to an investigation overseen by James, the attorney general.

On Tuesday, James said that probe found Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women, and retaliated against one of them: a former employee who had complained publicly about his conduct.

The 165-page report landed like a grenade in Albany and Washington, immediately prompting scores of Cuomo's fellow Democrats in office, up to and including President Joe Biden, to call for his resignation.

Cuomo far has shown no signs that he plans to step down.

On the contrary, the governor issued a statement Tuesday strongly denying some of the allegations against him and portraying himself as the victim of a political witch hunt.

But Thursday's announcement set in motion an impeachment clock that could count down the final weeks and months of Cuomo's governorship.

It's unclear how long it might take to formally impeach the governor and remove him from office, but legislators have warned it could be months.

The Judiciary Committee plans to meet on Monday to devise a timetable for the next steps in an impeachment.