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New York state impeachment investigation into Cuomo is ‘nearing completion’



CNN
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A large-ranging New York state impeachment investigation into numerous allegations of misconduct in opposition to embattled Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is near concluding, in accordance with a letter obtained by CNN.

In a letter despatched Thursday, legal professionals working for the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment probe knowledgeable Cuomo’s attorneys that the “Committee’s investigation is nearing completion and the Assembly will soon consider potential articles of impeachment against your client.”

The committee’s attorneys additionally invited Cuomo to submit further proof or written submissions to the committee by no later than August 13.

The information that the impeachment inquiry is near wrapping follows the discharge of a harmful report Tuesday from the New York state lawyer common’s workplace that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 girls, together with present and former state staff, and created a “hostile work environment for women.” The report additionally discovered Gov. Cuomo, who signed laws that mandated sexual harassment coaching in New York State, didn’t recall taking the coaching himself besides in 2019, and a certificates exhibiting he accomplished that coaching was signed by a colleague.

An lawyer for Cuomo, Rita Glavin, stated Thursday that the AG’s investigators acted as “prosecutor, judge and jury” and that the governor will cooperate with the Assembly’s investigation.

Glavin stated Cuomo “appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission to them” and accused the report of omitting “documents, emails, and testimony that contradict its narrative.”

Cuomo has denied the allegations made within the state lawyer common report and has remained defiant in opposition to the mounting stress to resign from high-profile Democrats together with President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Since March, the Judiciary Committee has been trying into Cuomo in 4 areas: the sexual harassment allegations, deaths in nursing houses from Covid-19, usurping state sources for private acquire, and allegations of a canopy up over broken bridge bolts on the Mario Cuomo Bridge, named after the previous New York governor who’s Andrew Cuomo’s father.

The committee attorneys will evaluate any additional supplies Cuomo decides to submit, after which the Judiciary committee would meet and take into account which articles of impeachment to formally advocate to the total Assembly, Democratic Assemblyman Phil Steck, a member of the Judiciary Committee, instructed CNN’s Polo Sandoval Thursday.

“Assuming that the committee’s investigation is very similar to the findings of the attorney general, it would be hard to imagine that sexual harassment would not be a basis for impeaching this governor,” he stated.

Steck added that the committee could also be further impeachment fees.

“I’m hoping and believing that we’ll have this wrapped up from the Judiciary committee’s point of view in early September,” he stated.

The committee is actively contemplating proof and the way it would possibly apply to articles of impeachment, however will doubtless not formally current them to the Assembly till after that August 13 deadline relying on the governor’s response, in accordance with a supply accustomed to the impeachment investigation.

Reacting to the lawyer common’s report Tuesday, New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stated in a press release that Cuomo has “lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office.”

He added that the Assembly would “move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.”

New York’s state legislature will not be at the moment in session, however lawmakers can name a particular session at any time ought to they proceed with submitting articles of impeachment and impeachment proceedings.

The Judiciary Committee is at the moment scheduled to fulfill Monday to debate the continued impeachment investigation.

A majority of New York state meeting members – 80 Democrats and Republicans – instructed CNN they’d vote “yes” to question, if articles of impeachment are launched. If the Assembly votes to question, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would develop into governor, stripping Cuomo of his decision-making skills whereas he undergoes trial within the New York state Senate.

Fallout from the report may additionally lengthen past any motion state lawmakers take, with at the least six district attorneys workplaces in New York having requested further investigative supplies from the state’s lawyer common’s workplace to find out whether or not Cuomo’s actions amounted to potential crimes.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the district lawyer’s workplace in Suffolk County confirmed to CNN that it had requested further info from the report, whereas Joseph Spino, a spokesperson for the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, stated its workplace had additionally requested for extra supplies from the report.

During his years as governor, Cuomo, a three-term Democrat, has repeatedly spoken out in opposition to sexual harassment and misconduct.

In 2019, Cuomo signed into regulation what his workplace known as “the nation’s most comprehensive sexual harassment package,” which required employers to undertake a sexual harassment prevention insurance policies and trainings. “There has been an ongoing, persistent culture of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination in the workplace, and now it is time to act,” Cuomo stated in a press release on the time.

When new office harassment protections when into impact in October 2019, Cuomo stated it was time for employers within the state to step up and ensure their staff have been protected.

At a March three information convention, Cuomo stated he had taken sexual harassment coaching – which is required for the state governor per a handbook for state businesses, the report stated.

There was just one document of a accomplished coaching for Cuomo in 2019, the report says, however Stephanie Benton, the Director of the Governor’s Offices on the time, testified that she had signed it on his behalf. Cuomo himself testified that he didn’t keep in mind taking sexual harassment coaching in any 12 months aside from 2019, in accordance with the report.

An outdoors lawyer for Cuomo’s govt chamber stated in a press release Thursday that the AG’s report alleging the governor’s workplace retaliated in opposition to his accuser Lindsey Boylan, a former aide, was “legally and factually wrong.” Attorneys for Cuomo despatched a letter with what they known as authorized “analysis” to the AG’s investigators on July 18 forward of the report’s launch, in accordance with lawyer Paul Fishman’s assertion.

The 13-page doc despatched to investigators says Cuomo’s attorneys have been “surprised” on the assertion of retaliation and boils down Boylan’s allegations to political motivations linked to the timing of her run for Manhattan Borough president. The doc additionally makes an attempt to justify the controversial letter drafted by Cuomo’s workers to discredit Boylan, arguing that it couldn’t be thought-about retaliation as a result of it was in the end by no means revealed.

Boylan, one in all Cuomo’s first accusers, alleged that he had tried to kiss her throughout a gathering in his New York City workplace in 2018. Boylan first tweeted that Cuomo had sexually harassed her in December 2020, however didn’t present further element. She then got here ahead with the small print in a Medium submit in February 2021.

CNN has reached out Boylan and her lawyer for remark.

This story has been up to date with further info.

CNN’s Mark Morales, Polo Sandoval, Paul LeBlanc, Sonia Moghe and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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