Cuomo moves closer to impeachment as lawmakers meet, accuser speaks out

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Cuomo moves closer to impeachment, accuser speaks out
Jim Dolan has the latest on Governor Cuomo and the rising calls for his impeachment.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces another day under fire Monday as a key legislative committee met to discuss possible impeachment proceedings and a woman who has accused him of groping her speaks in her first TV interview.

The state assembly's judiciary committee expects to conclude its impeachment investigation in "several weeks" before deciding if Gov Cuomo will face impeachment.

"As I stated last week, the governor has clearly lost the confidence of the majority of the state Assembly, the attorney generals report lays out in painful detail the many instances and ways in which he reportedly harassed and created a hostile work environment for the employees of the executive chamber and others he came in contact with," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.

Heastie said they started receiving information from the attorney general Saturday night and they are continuing to receive information.

Meanwhile, Brittany Commissio, previously identified as Executive Assistant #1, told CBS and the Times Union that Cuomo "hugs with the intention of getting some personal sexual satisfaction out of it."

She said it was "not consensual" and "not normal."

"Maybe to him, he thought this was normal," Commissio said. "But to me, and the other women that he did this too, it was not normal. It was not welcomed. And it was certainly not consensual."

"CBS This Morning" broadcast the interview with Commisso, an executive assistant who accused Cuomo of groping her breast at the governor's mansion in Albany.

It came just hours after the governor's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, announced she is resigning, saying the past two years had been "emotionally and mentally trying."

We saw De Rosa almost daily last year at the Governor's press conferences.

ALSO READ | Governor Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa resigns

Cuomo's top aide, Secretary to the Governor, Melissa DeRosa has resigned, she said in a statement on Sunday night.

Last week, Commisso became the first woman to file a criminal complaint against Cuomo, giving a report to the county sheriff.

Cuomo has denied touching any women inappropriately and said the groping incident never happened.

The governor's personal lawyer Rita Glavin has been on TV defending the Cuomo, saying many of the allegations don't even allege a crime.

Glavin went on CNN Monday night, where she stated that she's still waiting for the AG's office to release transcripts of their interview with the governor.

She also spoke on behalf of Cuomo, who wanted to apologize to Commisso.

"What I do want to say about that is that I know that the governor wants with respect to trooper number one, he wants to apologize to her. He has tremendous respect for her and he never in any way shape or form meant to make her feel as though he was touching her in a sexual way or violated her as I think she testified to so," Glavin said.

Meanwhile in Albany, the Assembly's judiciary committee met in executive session, behind closed doors, Monday to discuss how to wrap up an ongoing probe of Cuomo's conduct with women, and of other matters, including the use of staff to help with his $5 million book deal and his administration's decision to withhold full statistics on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the public.

The findings of New York State Attorney General Letitia James last week were "deeply disturbing," Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine said Monday as he ushered the committee into executive session.

Lavine said he and the committee would discuss the evidence against Cuomo publicly as soon as this month.

"Our investigation remains confidential, as it should be, and at the appropriate time and as early as later this month we will discuss the evidence publicly in an open and transparent manner," said committee Chair Charles Lavine, a Long Island Democrat.

Lavine said the committee would hear from its outside counsel about the state of the investigation and contemplate a schedule for the first possible impeachment of a New York governor in more than a century.

Cuomo will be given a chance to provide any exculpatory evidence related to accusations involving women, nursing home deaths during the pandemic, preferential access to COVID-19 testing early in the pandemic and the use of state resources to write a book. All are possible grounds for impeachment articles.

About two-thirds of state Assembly members have already said they favor an impeachment trial if he refuses to resign. Only a simple majority vote is needed to begin an impeachment trial.

Scores of Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have urged him to leave office.

The administration has been in crisis since last week, when an AG report concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

Cuomo's lawyers have attacked the attorney general's investigation as biased in favor of his female accusers.

At least five district attorneys have asked for materials from the attorney general's inquiry to see if any of the allegations could result in criminal charges. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said Saturday that Cuomo could face misdemeanor charges if investigators substantiate Commisso's complaint.

Also on Monday, the New York State Police Investigators Association called on the governor to resign and called on the State Police to revoke Cuomo's control of protective detail.

"As law enforcement professionals charged with investigating serious crimes in New York State, some of NYSPIA's members are also responsible for providing protective detail for the Governor. Having to continue to protect the Governor under the current circumstances puts our members in an extremely difficult position. We request that management of the Governor's detail be immediately transferred to the Division of State Police. This situation clearly demonstrates that the Governor's control of all aspects of who serves on his protective detail leads to opportunities for impropriety," the NYSPIA said in a statement.

Time's Up leader resigns after criticism about Cuomo ties

Time's Up leader Roberta Kaplan resigned Monday over fallout from her work advising theCuomo administration when he was first hit with sexual harassment allegations last year.

Kaplan cited her work counseling Cuomo and his former top aide, Melissa DeRosa, through the attorney general's investigation, according to The New York Times.

"I therefore have reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time's Up at this time and I hereby resign," Kaplan wrote in her resignation letter.

Kaplan was the Chair of the Board of Directors of Time's Up and cofounder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, which aids women who have experienced sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More Cuomo Coverage

RELATED | Full details of 11 complaints against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to AG report

Raw Video: Attorneys Joon Kim and Anne Clark detail some of the allegations the investigated against Gov. Cuomo.

Cuomo released a pre-recorded statement saying that he never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.

NY Gov. Cuomo responds to AG report on sexual harassment

How impeachment proceedings would work


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