OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
Andrew Cuomo is stepping down from his office as the Governor of New York, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t still be impeached and barred from running for office again, says New York State Rep. Ron Kim – a Democrat and a member of the state’s legislature who previously made the waves when he publicly outed Cuomo for trying to strong-arm him into supporting the governor.
The state assemblyman went to the press in February claiming that Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him after he criticized the governor’s nursing home policy in 2020. Kim told CNN that Cuomo called him “to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said,” alleging that the governor tried to pressure him into making a statement. Cuomo then warned him not to “cross certain lines” because the Democrats are “in this business together” and that Kim had not yet seen his wrath.
Speaking on Friday, Kim said he reached out to a Cornell Law School professor for some advice on impeaching the governor despite his exit from office. Kim then posted the professor’s correspondence on Twitter, which explained why the New York State Assembly’s reason not to impeach Cuomo was “regrettably short on both legal authority and persuasive authority.”
Here’s our memo from Robert Hockett @rch371 explaining why the Assembly’s reasoning to not impeach Cuomo is “regrettably short on both legal authority and persuasive authority.”
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) August 14, 2021
Professor Robert Hockett explained in his letter to Kim that the state assembly’s rationale in its decision to drop the impeachment probe simply did not hold up to scrutiny.
The scandal-ridden governor announced his exit from office earlier this week following the publication of an investigative report by the New York state attorney’s office detailing how the accusations of sexual impropriety by 11 women against the governor had merit.
Earlier on Friday, New York state lawmakers said they would suspend the impeachment investigation into Cuomo the day after he leaves office. The investigation, which launched in March, would’ve determined whether Cuomo should be removed from office. It came after several women accused him of sexual harassment and misconduct, well before the state attorney’s office published its report.
At the time, Cuomo was also facing questions about his nursing home policies and his administration’s refusal to provide nursing home death data to lawmakers. Cuomo’s decision to write a book and ostensibly profit from the pandemic was also a matter of concern.
“There are two reasons for this decision. First, the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation was to determine whether Governor 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,” said New York House Speaker Carl Heastie.
“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,” Heastie added. “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.”
Rebutting their explanation, Professor Hockett said that the assembly’s rationale was erroneous in its assumption that the “removal,” as mentioned in state law, refers to the physical act of removing Cuomo from his position. Rather, Hockett says that it is properly understood to mean that the “Assembly, Senate, and Court of Appeals are to revoke the Governor’s legal status as Governor and his legal eligibility to hold State office again.”
Hockett explained, “a thief who is indicted for larceny is not able to preempt the indictment by returning the stolen property upon learning that arrest and indictment are imminent.” The reason for this is because the criminal indictment is meant to be a “formal legal expression” of the public’s disapproval of thievery and to brand the thief as a criminal.
“Similarly, the purpose of formal removal of a miscreant official from public office is not simply to empty a physical office space or residential property of the unwelcome physical presence of the official in question. It is, rather, (a) to give formal legal expression to the State’s judgment that the miscreant official is no longer legally fit for office, and (b) formally to stigmatize the official as unfit for office,” he concluded.
And finally, Hockett pointed out that Cuomo had not yet resigned – he merely stated his plans to do so.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com