News & Politics

New York Lawmaker Says the Legislature Is 'Inching Toward' Cuomo Impeachment Inquiry

Kevin P. Coughlin/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP

The New York State Democratic assemblyman who was threatened with the destruction of his career by Governor Andrew Cuomo says that the legislature is “inching toward” beginning an impeachment inquiry against the governor.

Ronald Kim, a self-identified progressive socialist, was the target of a series of screaming phone threats from Cuomo when Kim refused to retract his statement about the governor’s coverup of the number of deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19. “It will take a little time to build that consensus, but every day we are inching toward the impeachment process,” Kim told Yahoo News. He said that there were between 25 and 30 Democrats who currently support an impeachment probe. Democrats currently hold 106 of the 150 seats in that chamber so there’s a way to go yet before a majority of the assembly would agree to an impeachment inquiry.

“I’m not going to let you hurt New Yorkers by lying about what happened surrounding the death of a loved one,” he said. “So I’m going to take on the lies and the unscrupulous actors, especially when they cause pain and damage to New York.” He added: “I should have done it before. And I should have done it more aggressively.”

Our hero.

In truth, Cuomo may have more to worry about than some backbench assembly members nipping at his heels. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and the FBI are very interested in finding out whether Cuomo obstructed justice by not being truthful with the Justice Department.

Kim said in the “Skullduggery” interview that he has been told the investigation is focused in part on “obstruction of justice” and that as part of that he is fully prepared to recount his phone call to federal authorities.

“Of course, I’m prepared to comply and spend as much time handing over as much evidence as they want,” he said. “I expect many of us to be contacted very soon.”

Another issue federal law enforcement may be interested in investigating is the curious timing of legislation Cuomo backed and signed last spring that gave nursing homes and their executives immunity from lawsuits.

“If we had the real-time data — which they were holding onto — we would have had the argument to repeal that immunity,” he said. “Instead, because we didn’t see the whole picture, we were only able to repeal” the immunity partially last July.

“So this is one clear example of what we could have done differently in terms of policy if they had shared the data in real time,” Kim said. “But they made a choice not to do it. All of those decisions need to be investigated. Who gave him the language of the immunity? [The] industry came in and even said and bragged in a press release that we got this done for nursing homes and hospitals.”

The organization that gave Cuomo the language for immunity that apparently ended up word for word in the bill was from the Greater New York Hospital Association. Two years before the law was changed, they gave the governor a $1 million donation late in his campaign.

The federal prosecutor looking into the matter will have to come forth with some very serious charges for Cuomo to be in any danger. The governor has already shown how he treats members of his own party who cross him, so don’t bet on Democratic lawmakers having much enthusiasm to impeach the governor.

That’s because partisanship is only bad during an impeachment when Republicans do it