New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie issued this statement Thursday on authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
“After meeting with the Assembly majority conference today, I am authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation, led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, to examine allegations of misconduct against Gov. Cuomo.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious. The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York state constitution. I have the utmost faith that Assembly member Lavine and the members of the committee will conduct an expeditious, full and thorough investigation.
“This inquiry will not interfere with the independent investigation being conducted by Attorney General James.”
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt’s team issued a statement attributable to the entire GOP conference. It read, “The governor’s office is under a cloud of multiple scandals and ongoing investigations. New Yorkers need a leader to focus on the important work facing this state, but the ability of this governor to be anything but a distraction is damaged beyond repair. He must resign for the good of all New Yorkers. If the governor does not resign, the next step is impeachment.”
Attorney General Letitia James released a statement confirming the independent investigation her office is overseeing into allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo will continue regardless of the Assembly's enquiry.
She said, “Today’s action by the New York State Legislature will have no bearing on our independent investigation into these allegations against Gov. Cuomo. Our investigation will continue.”
Earlier this week, James announced the appointment of former Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim and employment discrimination attorney Anne L. Clark as the two attorneys leading the independent investigation into Cuomo.