Outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes he made the right move in choosing to resign from office, telling New York Magazine that if he had stuck around through an impeachment and emerged victorious he would "have made the State Legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools."
Cuomo had come under intense pressure to resign following the release of a report last week that concluded he had sexually harassed multiple women. The governor announced Tuesday that he was going to step down and that his resignation would be effective in 14 days.
"I feel like I did the right thing. I did the right thing for the state," Cuomo said regarding his resignation, according to New York Magazine. "I'm not gonna drag the state through the mud, through a three-month, four-month impeachment, and then win, and have made the State Legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools, when everything I've done all my life was for the exact opposite. I'm not doing that. I feel good. I'm not a martyr. It's just, I saw the options, option A, option B."
EXCLUSIVE: Cuomo gives first interview since the report and resignation to @nahmias, saying he would’ve won impeach… https://t.co/CnHBpyVWjm— Justin Miller (@Justin Miller)1628895825.0
It appeared that the state legislature was likely moving toward pursuing impeachment proceedings against Cuomo, but New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) announced Friday that an impeachment investigation into Cuomo will be suspended later this month since the governor is leaving office.
"After consulting with Chair [Charles] Lavine and my majority colleagues, the Assembly will suspend its impeachment investigation upon the governor's resignation taking effect on August 25," Heastie said in a statement.
"There are two reasons for this decision. First, the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation was to determine whether Governor Cuomo should remain in office. The governor's resignation answers that directive. Second, we have been advised by Chair Lavine — with the assistance of counsel — of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office," the statement noted.
Cuomo, who has served as the governor of New York since 2011, will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. She will become the first woman ever to serve as governor of the Empire State and has said that she intends to run next year during New York's gubernatorial election.
"The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law," state Attorney General Letitia James said last week at a news conference. "Specifically, the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women."
In a video released last week, Cuomo said that he "never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances."