Next Up: Democrats’ Evolving View on Impeaching an Executive Who Has Left Office

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Now that Andrew Cuomo has resigned as New York’s governor, to take effect two weeks hence, the question naturally arises: What is to become of the state assembly’s impeachment investigation?

After all, impeachment has heated up since the issuance of state attorney general Letitia James’s report on Cuomo’s many alleged instances of sexual harassment.

Assembly speaker Carl Heastie (a key Cuomo ally until President Biden opined that the governor should resign) has indicated that impeachment is on track. The assembly has given Cuomo a deadline of this coming Friday to submit any evidence in his defense. And judiciary committee chairman Charles Lavine has maintained that, because full accountability is absolutely necessary, the assembly’s impeachment investigation has been wide-ranging: covering the governor’s reckless mishandling of COVID-positive nursing-home patients, the cover-up of same, his cashing in on the illusion of his visionary COVID-crisis management with a lucrative book deal, his improper use of state employees to write same, his arrangement of preferential COVID-testing for family and cronies when testing resources were scarce, and possible shenanigans in the construction of the Mario Cuomo Bridge (formerly the Tappan Zee Bridge).

On Tuesday, in fact, it emerged that in 2014 Cuomo had pressured the Obama White House in a futile effort to derail a Justice Department investigation of his administration. That called to mind the corruption evidence uncovered during that probe, which resulted in a six-year federal prison sentence for Cuomo’s top aide and confidant, Joseph Percoco. Taking the assembly at its word that Democrats were committed to full accountability — and that Cuomo-allied lawmakers were not adding things to investigate in order to help the governor stall (until the sexual-harassment report made that strategy impractical) — would the imminent impeachment articles also explore the corruption case, in which the governor himself barely escaped indictment?
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