July 27, 2021

NY assembly approves motion to issue subpoenas in ongoing Cuomo impeachment probe

The ongoing saga engulfing Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo entered a new phase this week when the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee announced on Wednesday that it will begin issuing subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry surrounding the state’s chief executive, as The Hill reported.

The decision was reached via a unanimous vote that was taken in a closed-door session in the state capital of Albany in which lawyers from Davis Polk & Wardwell – the firm engaged to conduct the probe – were also involved, according to the New York Post.

Following the private executive session, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine announced that subpoenas would indeed be forthcoming and that the law firm had been authorized to “act as a commission” pursuant to state law, meaning that it was given the power to take witness testimony under oath on behalf of the legislature.

As the Washington Examiner noted, the impeachment probe of Cuomo was launched back in March and is examining a series of issues including sexual misconduct claims lodged by no fewer than 10 women, nursing home policies pursued during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, allegations that the governor’s family received preferential treatment regarding coronavirus testing, the use of official resources to promote his lucrative pandemic memoir, and more.

Lavine explained that the subpoenas will be used as a means to corroborate evidence already obtained in the course of the probe and, according to Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, will involve “a whole wide range of categories of people.”

According to reports, over 100,000 pages of emails, transcripts, text messages, letters, contracts, and other documents have already been gathered by Davis Polk, and as Albinanti explained, the announcement that subpoenas are on the immediate horizon should not be interpreted to mean that the probe is nearing its end.

The Assembly’s impeachment probe is not the only high-profile investigation dogging Cuomo, as new York Attorney General Letitia James is conducting a separate probe of her own into claims of sexual misconduct against the governor as well as the book deal that brought him millions.

In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is entrenched in its own examination of the Cuomo administration’s COVID-19 nursing home policies as well as his book contract, recently issuing subpoenas to several of the governor’s top aides, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Though the careers of most politicians would have been unceremoniously ended by the mere whiff of even one of Cuomo’s current scandals, the governor has refused to admit any wrongdoing and is stubbornly clinging to power. Whether that position remains tenable as these multi-facted probes continue, only time will tell.

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