McGrath told the New York Times that her colleague was the same woman the governor is accused of fumbling around the Executive Mansion, a claim revealed in a report last week in the Times Union of Albany. This adjutant has not been publicly identified.
McGrath did not accuse the governor of touching inappropriately.
The Democrat Cuomo has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct. An attorney for him told the New York Times that Cuomo actually used Italian phrases like “ciao bella,” which means “hello beautiful,” in Italian, and greeted men and women alike with hugs and a kiss.
“None of this is remarkable, although it can be old-fashioned,” said attorney Rita Glavin. “He made it clear that he never made inappropriate progress or touched anyone inappropriately.”
This is a breaking news update. AP’s earlier story follows below.
ALBANY, NY (AP) – New York lawmakers have not yet answered key questions about the plans to launch an impeachment investigation against Governor Andrew Cuomo, including how long it will take, how public the trials or results will be, or what wrongdoing could fall under his control.
Congregation Democratic spokesman Carl Heastie announced last week the investigation into the governor, who has been charged with sexual misconduct and has questions about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, without revealing those details.
And the Congregation’s Judiciary Committee, New York’s lower legislature, has not yet met on the matter, although it took a first step this week – hiring the Davis Polk & Wardwell law firm in Manhattan to support the investigation.
The pace of investigation has frustrated some lawmakers who want Cuomo out now.
“It’s pretty strange for me and I think we have to ask a lot of questions here,” said Democrat Yuh-Line Niou. “With any kind of lack of transparency or access to a process, you have to ask about the motivations and you have to ask: why?”
John Kaehny, executive director of Good Government group Reinvent Albany, said the leaders of the congregation have a duty to explain how the investigation will play out.
“Impeachment isn’t a regular occurrence in New York, so no one really knows how it’s supposed to work,” he said. “We know it’s really important and that it should be as transparent as possible.”
Polls suggest that while Cuomo’s support has waned after alleging he groped an aide at the Executive Mansion, his political base has not left him.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of 905 registered voters found 43% believe he should resign, 36% of women polled said he should quit, and 23% of Democrats.
36% of respondents from all political backgrounds said Cuomo should be charged and removed from office.
Only 16 U.S. governors have ever been ousted by impeachment, said attorney and professor Ross Garber, who has represented governors facing impeachment in Alabama, Connecticut and South Carolina.
Cuomo’s behavior towards women is also the subject of an investigation overseen by Attorney General Letitia James.
Women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and inappropriate touch. The federal prosecutor’s office is also looking into whether the Cuomo government has misled the public or the U.S. Department of Justice about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
Cuomo says he never touched anyone inappropriately. However, he has apologized for attempts to engage in office conversations which he now recognizes offended women who have worked for him.
Heastie said decisions about the investigation would be made by judicial committee chairman Charles Lavine. Lavine referred interview requests to Heastie, whose office did not respond to questions from The Associated Press.
Congregation member Ron Kim said lawmakers are not getting the answers they need either.
“None of us have any idea what is going on with this investigation,” he said. “And it is very worrying and alarming to a lot of my colleagues.”
An attorney for one of Cuomo’s accusers, Charlotte Bennett, said she would not cooperate with the gathering’s investigation over questions about possible political interference.
The New York Constitution does not contain a process for investigating allegations of misconduct by a governor.
The US House of Representatives took two different paths in its impeachment against former President Donald Trump.
Before his first impeachment trial, Trump held public hearings and took testimony related to Trump’s efforts to pollute Joe Biden in Ukraine for weeks. The second impeachment, however, was enforced just days after the January 6th storm on the U.S. Capitol.
Pressure on state lawmakers to investigate is frequent, according to advisor John Fritchey, a former Illinois lawmaker who served on the special investigation committee drafting an impeachment decision against former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
“The public needs to be confident that lawmakers did the right thing for the right reasons,” Fritchey said.
Unlike New York, Illinois opened a committee investigation with a vote that laid the groundwork for weeks of public hearings.
“In general, the legislatures will establish rules early on that will govern the investigation,” Garber said.
Heastie said the correct answer would be for the congregation to do its own thorough investigation. Other lawmakers say any delay will only help Cuomo.
“We already have enough information to draft the impeachment proceedings,” tweeted Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who used to work in the Cuomo administration and spoke publicly about feeling bullied by the governor.
“Delaying the impeachment does exactly what the governor wants most, namely public pressure to settle.”