Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo would still face an impeachment proceeding if he runs and wins elected office in New York, a source close to the state Assembly on Sunday told Spectrum News 1.
Cuomo earlier in the day at a church in Brooklyn in his first public remarks since his resignation in August blasted the circumstances that led to his stepping down amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.
"No one knows what his plans are, but if he were to seek statewide office there would be a strong likelihood that impeachment articles would be waiting for him on day 1," according to the source.
Cuomo has not given any public indication he will run for either governor or for state attorney general, an office he held from 2007 to 2011.
Still, the claim underscores the lack of institutional support Cuomo would likely have for a potential run for statewide office again, and Democratic officials in the state, including Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs, have publicly sought to dissuade him from running. Jacobs last August publicly broke with Cuomo and urged him to resign.
“We are focused on the serious issues facing this state and the Democratic Party as a whole, not this silly backbiting, but nothing speaks to the weaponization of cancel culture quite like an old fashioned Albany-style anonymous threat to cancel someone," said Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo. "If accusations alone were merely enough to bar people from office then there should be a ton of vacancies from just that one anonymous staffer-run Instagram account. Your blind sources can huff and puff all they want — we’re not afraid of them.”
The former governor in his remarks blamed "cancel culture" for the push to oust him from office last year amid multiple investigations into the sexual harassment allegations as well as the tabulation of nursing home resident fatalities. Cuomo noted multiple local prosecutors have declined to bring criminal charges in any of the cases.
Attorney General Letitia James, whose office oversaw the investigation of the sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct allegations, has staunchly defended the probe over the last several months. James in February at the state Democratic Convention knocked Cuomo's efforts to undermine the findings of the report released by her office.
"It is now clear the former governor will not accept any version of these events other than his own," she said.
Cuomo was expected to face a likely impeachment vote in the state Assembly last year prior to his resignation, and at the time he insisted he did not want to put the state through a protracted legal bill amid the ongoing public health crisis.
A report released in November by the state Assembly Judiciary Committee concluded Cuomo used government resources, including staffers in the governor's office, to help him write a book about the COVID pandemic, which was part of a $5.1 million contract. The report was the result of a months-long impeachment investigation that began in April 2021.
Ethics regulators have rescinded approval for Cuomo to enter into the contract and have sought to claw the money back; Cuomo's legal team has said it will challenge any effort to do so.