The Judiciary Committee of the New York State Assembly on Monday said that it would continue to conduct its own investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and that the Committee could provide a recommendation on impeachment in a matter of "several weeks."
Committee Chair Charles Lavine and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said during a press conference on Monday that though the Assembly members have "no confidence" in Cuomo remaining in office, the Committee will continue to conduct its investigation in the hopes of providing a transparent process to the State of New York.
"The question is not, 'Should we rush to impeach?' but, 'Should we present a compelling case at the court of impeachment?'" Lavine said.
During his press conference Monday, Lavine said the Committee would hold two hearings on Aug. 16 and Aug. 23 to get updates from an outside law firm, which is conducting an investigation into Cuomo on the Committee's behalf. Following those hearings, the Committee will issue a recommendation on whether or not the Assembly should pursue articles of impeachment against Cuomo.
While the investigation released last week by state Attorney General Letitia James focused solely on sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, the Committee is conducting a more widespread investigation. They're also looking into allegations that Cuomo mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic and attempted to hide data from the public.
James said last week that she would not be pursuing criminal charges against Cuomo and that further action against the governor should be handled by the Assembly and the voters.
"There is still a role that the Assembly has to play. Let us do what is right," Heastie said, adding that he wanted to make it clear to the State of New York that the Committee handled potential impeachment proceedings "the right way."
The press conference by Assembly members took place the same day that one of Cuomo's accusers, Brittany Commisso, went public with her allegations for the first time. Commisso told CBS News and the Albany Times Union that she is the woman referred to in the AG report as "Executive Assistant No. 1" and said that Cuomo was lying in denying allegations that he groped women in his office.
"I would say, governor, this is the truth; these are the facts. And it's your turn to do the right thing," Commisso told the Times Union. "And that right thing is to resign and to tell the truth."
The press conference also came a day after Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, resigned her post.