The New York Post reported Tuesday that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to cut a deal with legislators looking to fast-track an impeachment by offering to forgo plans to run for a fourth term — even though the election is still more than a year away.
“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to cut a deal with the state Legislature — offering to drop his bid for a fourth term in exchange for not getting impeached,” the Post said Tuesday.
The Post noted that Cuomo aides floated the idea before Attorney General Leticia James released her blockbuster report, detailing sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations from 11 women — allegations that James not only found credible but showed evidence of both state and federal crimes. James based her report on interviews with 179 witnesses and tens of thousands of pieces of evidence.
In response, the prosecutor’s office in Albany, New York, the state capital and where the incidents allegedly took place, has opened an investigation into Cuomo’s behavior.
The state legislature is expected to wrap up its own inquiry, related to a potential impeachment, this week. It warned Cuomo last Thursday that he had until this coming Friday to produce exculpatory evidence.
As for Cuomo’s reported proposed deal, even Democrats seemed skeptical.
“It was something that was floated to me by the folks in the Cuomo camp as a possible option before the attorney general’s report came out,” the New York Democratic chairman, Jay Jacobs, told the Post. “I never saw it as a viable option.”
The Post added that it does appear Cuomo’s aides are floating a similar deal now.
“A source told The City on Monday that the gov’s team has been busy making calls to try to save his skin in the wake of the official report, which concluded Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women in violation of state and federal law. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing,” they noted. “Before she resigned Sunday night, top aide and confidante Melissa DeRosa had been asking executive staffers for strategies to quiet the impeachment talks, the source told The City.”
Jacobs, though, told the Post that he “shot down” any talk of dropping the impeachment inquiry “pretty quick.”
A Cuomo “pal” denied the rumor to the Post, saying that the governor had no plans to run for a fourth term.
Cuomo responded to the Attorney General’s report in a recorded statement released just hours after James’ report dropped. In it, he suggested that the women who complained had misinterpreted his actions and that he has a habit of being overly familiar.
He did not entertain the idea of resigning but instead offered to hire a consultant to train him — and his staff — on how to behave appropriately in an office environment.
The efforts were not enough for the legislature, which has been pursuing its impeachment inquiry since March when news of the allegations against Cuomo first broke.