The Remarks of Speaker Carl E. Heastie Following the Judiciary Committee Meeting on the Impeachment Investigation into Governor Cuomo

August 9, 2021
Legislative Office Building
[as prepared]

Good afternoon.

On March 1st, the attorney general was authorized to undertake an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo. On March 11th, I authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to undertake a broad impeachment investigation concerning the conduct of the governor.

Now with the attorney general’s task completed, the Assembly is working to expeditiously conclude our investigation - which covers a broad range of issues - so that we can bring this sad chapter of our state’s history to a conclusion.

As I stated last week, the governor has clearly lost the confidence of the Majority members of the New York State Assembly. The attorney general’s report lays out in painful detail the many instances and ways in which he reportedly harassed and created a hostile work environment for the employees of the Executive Chamber and others he came in contact with.

I am heartbroken. Let me be clear - no one should have to endure the type of behavior detailed in the attorney general’s report.

We are at a historic moment in our state’s modern history. For the first time in more than 100 years, the Assembly is undertaking an impeachment investigation of a sitting governor. Chairman Lavine, the members of the Judiciary Committee – and my Majority colleagues – understand the gravity of this situation that we find ourselves in today. Future generations will look to us and how we conducted ourselves in this moment.

In order to ensure due process which is embedded in our system, we have asked for all the evidence – unredacted and unfiltered – used by the attorney general’s investigators to reach their conclusions. The process to begin receiving that information did not begin until Saturday evening. We have also asked the governor to submit any relevant evidence he may have by Friday, August 13th.

Our goal now is to bring this matter to a conclusion with all due haste. The Judiciary Committee has made progress on the issues they have been investigating. To provide an update on those issues, our schedule, and the progress of the overall investigation we will now hear from Chairman Lavine.

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Available here is a file for broadcast of Speaker Heastie’s remarks. The link will direct you to a web page with instructions for previewing or downloading the files. The link will be active for two weeks.