New York Assembly Republican conference is introducing a resolution to begin the impeachment process by forming a commission surrounding Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo embroiled controversy “handling and subsequent cover-up of the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes.”
On Thursday, Assembly Republicans announced a resolution to create an impeachment commission consisting of eight bipartisan members of the legislature. The Republican proposal would create a “Temporary Joint Legislative Committee on Impeachment and Investigation of the State’s Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes.”
The bill’s bipartisan panel would consist of eight members with two appointees from each legislative leader. Of those eight members, the Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader would jointly appoint one co-chair, with another co-chair selected by the minority leaders in each house. The panel would have 60 days to conduct its work and submit its findings on “any unlawful activities or willful and corrupt misconduct” that it uncovers to the state legislature.
“The Cuomo Administration’s nursing home cover-up is one of the most alarming scandals we’ve seen in state government,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said in a statement. “Intentionally withholding critical information from the public, underreporting fatality numbers by 50 percent and the recent revelation they hid the truth to avoid a federal Department of Justice investigation are among the factors that raise the serious possibility of criminality.”
“It is incumbent upon the Legislature to undertake a comprehensive, bipartisan review of the Cuomo Administration’s policies, decisions, and actions on this matter and render a decision on what steps must be taken to hold the governor accountable,” the statement adds.
The Assembly Republican Conference will introduce the commission bill next week.
For the resolution to pass in the Assembly, Republicans would need support from at least 32 Democrats and the one Independent. In the State Senate, Republicans would need 12 Democrats. The move has no chance of being approved with Democrats having the majorities of both chambers in the New York Legislature. Currently, in the Assembly, there are 107 members who are Democrats and 43 Republicans members. In the state Senate, 43 of the 63 are Democrats while the rest of the 20 are Republican.
Democrat party leadership are seriously not entertaining the idea of a commission proposal.
“It’s hypocritical. Here you have a reporting inaccuracy — which no matter how you look at it, is not criminal and the Republicans are choosing to politicize the governor’s handling of the pandemic and an extraordinarily difficult crisis while they were silent while a Republican president was fomenting insurrection in the nation’s Capitol,” State Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs said. “They were silent on impeachment then, but for a reporting inaccuracy, they’re running around with their hair on fire. It defies credulity.”
However, a handful of Democrats who are Cuomo critics are not ruling out the move, saying that impeachment might eventually be on the table.
New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy says the governor obstructed justice when he did not deliver nursing home and COVID data requested by the state legislature last summer.
“Andrew Cuomo is unfit to continue his service as governor of the state of New York. I and many others have called for impeachment articles to be drafted.”
The FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York have already opened an investigation into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes amid the coronavirus pandemic. This comes after The Post bombshell report over Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa admitting to Democratic lawmakers in a conference call that they withheld the true death toll data of nursing home residents out of fear it would be “used against us” by Trump’s DOJ.
The shock revelation came just two weeks after New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office released a damning report that the Cuomo administration had undercounted the number of nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent forcing officials to admit the true death toll was 12,743, rather than the 8,711 it previously claimed.