State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday that her office's investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo – which included interviews with 179 people – determined that the governor sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former staff members, from 2013 through last year.
Cuomo, who is also facing a federal probe into whether his administration covered up the COVID-19 deaths of nursing home residents amid the coronavirus pandemic, has been urged to step down by more than 135 state lawmakers and nearly the entire congressional delegation from New York — including Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Renewed calls for Cuomo to resign, or for the governor to be impeached, came flooding in on Tuesday following the bombshell release of the attorney general’s investigation.
But hours after the release of the report, Cuomo forcefully denied the allegations and ignored the new calls to step down.
It's been 13 years since a New York governor has resigned. Then Democratic Gov. Elliot Spitzer stepped down in early 2008 after admitting to having extramarital affairs with sex workers.?
If Cuomo doesn’t step down, he could face impeachment. The state assembly is conducting an investigation that could lead to a possible impeachment of the governor. The impeachment process in New York is similar to how it works on the federal level. A simple majority in the assembly is needed to impeach a governor, with a two-thirds majority of the state Senate and the justices of the New York Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court – needed to convict Cuomo and remove him from office.?
The last time a New York governor was removed from office through impeachment was in 1913.
If Cuomo were to step down or is removed from office through impeachment, he would be succeed by New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who would make history as the state’s first female governor.
The 62-year-old Hochul is a Buffalo-area native and a Syracuse University graduate. She earned her law degree from Catholic University in Washington. She worked as legal counsel and legislative assistant to then-Rep. John LaFalce and the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Hochul served 14 years on the Hamburg town council and later for four years as the Erie County clerk. In 2011, she pulled an upset, winning a special election to Congress in a challenging district. But she lost reelection a year later after redistricting reshaped the district. Cuomo chose Hochul as his running mate when he ran in 2014 for a second term.
Cuomo was easily reelected in 2018 in blue state New York. The state doesn't have gubernatorial limits, and Cuomo said in May of 2019 that he would run in 2022 for a fourth term. He had built a massive $18.5 million campaign war chest by the end of June, but he’s yet to formally confirm or announce that he’s seeking another term in office.
Only a third of voters questioned in a Siena College survey conducted a month ago said that Cuomo should run for reelection next year, with 39% saying he should serve out his term but not seek another four years steering the Empire State, and 23% saying Cuomo should resign immediately.?