Details on New York's impeachment process emerge as more Dems urge Cuomo leave office

New York's Constitution says the impeachment process starts in the state Assembly with a simple majority, then moves to a Senate trial.

Published: August 4, 2021 11:36am

Updated: August 5, 2021 4:37pm

As more Democrats call for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign in the aftermath of the state Attorney General's sexual harassment findings, state legislators join in the calls ready to instead impeach Cuomo – in a process similar to that of Congress.

Among the highest ranking state legislators to call for the governor to step down is Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, who condemned Cuomo's actions Tuesday in an emergency meeting.

"It is abundantly clear to me that the governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly," the Bronx-area Democrat said. 

The state Constitution requires a vote in the state Assembly and Senate to impeach a governor.

A simple majority vote is needed in the 140-seat Assembly, in which 106 are held by Democrats, with a "yes" vote leading to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul taking Cuomo's place while the Senate continues the process, according to CNN.

The Senate – made up of 43 Democrats and 20 Republicans – would hold a trial with the seven members of New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. As second in the line of succession, the Senate majority leader is exempt from the vote. A two-thirds majority, or 46 votes out of the 69-member body, would be needed to convict Cuomo and officially oust him from office. 

If the vote is not met, Cuomo would be acquitted and allowed back into office with all of his usual duties.

Of the 56 previous New York governors, only one has been impeached and removed from office in the state's history, which occurred more than a century ago. 

It's still unclear if all members in the Assembly and Senate are supportive of the impeachment, but with President Biden's recent announcement in support of an impeachment, N.Y. Democrats will effectively have to choose between the president or governor – unless a resignation is promptly provided. 

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