Statement from Speaker Carl Heastie on impeachment investigation:
"After consulting with Chair Lavine and my majority colleagues, the Assembly will suspend its impeachment investigation upon the governor’s resignation taking effect on Aug. 25.
"There are two reasons for this decision. First, the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation was to determine whether Gov. Cuomo should remain in office. The governor’s resignation answers that directive. Second, we have been advised by Chair Lavine – with the assistance of counsel – of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office (see attached memo).
“Let me be clear – the committee’s work over the last several months, although not complete, did uncover credible evidence in relation to allegations that have been made in reference to the governor. Underscoring the depth of this investigation, this evidence concerned not only sexual harassment and misconduct but also the misuse of state resources in relation to the publication of the governor’s memoir as well as improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This evidence – we believe – could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned.
“I have asked Chair Lavine to turn over to the relevant investigatory authorities all the evidence the committee has gathered. We are well aware that the attorney general is investigating issues concerning the governor’s memoir; the Eastern District of the United States attorney has been investigating the administration’s actions concerning nursing home data; and there are active investigations by local law enforcement authorities in five jurisdictions – Manhattan, Albany, Westchester, Nassau and Oswego – concerning incidents of sexual misconduct.
“As I have said, this has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history. The people of this great state expect and deserve a government they can count on to always have their best interests in mind. Our government should always operate in a transparent, safe and honest manner. These principles have and always will be the Assembly majority’s commitment to all New Yorkers.”
In response, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “The decision from Assembly Democrats to suspend the impeachment investigation reeks of a shady deal to protect Andrew Cuomo.
“At any point in the last six months, Democrats could have impeached our now disgraced governor – but that would’ve required courage. Instead, they stalled and bought Andrew Cuomo all the time in the world, while they wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on their sham investigation.
“Resignation is not accountability. The Democrats not only failed in their constitutional responsibilities – they failed the governor’s countless victims in nursing homes, brave women who came forward to tell their stories, and those who believe in honest and transparent government.”
New York State Sen. Sean Ryan stated, “While I understand the legal argument about the inability to impeach a governor who has resigned, I do hope that the Assembly, at the very least, releases to the public all the evidence uncovered during their impeachment inquiry. They paid an outside firm, just like the attorney general did, to conduct an investigation and prepare a report. I think the taxpayers deserve to see what the Assembly has found.”