The Democratic lawmaker leading the state Assembly's impeachment investigation on Friday said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration was formally told to not retaliate against potential witnesses in the case and to preserve documents.
The lawmaker, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine, also confirmed the investigation is reviewing "reports relating to the publishing of the governor's memoir last year" in addition to allegations of sexual harassment, COVID-19 reporting in nursing homes and reported defects on the construction of the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
In all instances, Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing. But the Assembly's widening impeachment probe, a laundry list of shoes that have dropped since the start of the year, suggest the impeachment investigation will take time to complete.
The committee is set to meet again next Wednesday, Lavine said. At the same time, lawmakers have received more than 100 calls on a hotline set up to receive tips.
"This is not a responsibility that any involved take lightly," Lavine said. "I have the utmost faith that my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and our independent team of lawyers will continue to conduct this investigation in a thorough and expeditious manner fully reflecting the seriousness of the allegations facing the governor and his administration."
The statement served as an update to the month-old investigation by the state Assembly as Democrats from the state and federal level, including nearly all of the congressional delegation, have called for Cuomo to step down.
But the governor has shown no signs of leaving office. His support among a core group of Democratic voters in New York has not broken, and his support with Black voters remains especially durable.
Assembly Democrats are walking a fine line, as not all members of the majority conference in the chamber support the governor's removal from office.
Cuomo has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment or inapprorpriate behavior. A woman currently working in his office has also accused him of sexually assaulting her at the Executive Mansion in an incident late last year. Attorney General Letitia James' office is conducting a separate investigation into the allegations.
Meanwhile, Cuomo has faced scrutiny over his administration's under-reporting of nursing home deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal investigation on the nursing home fatalities is also being conducted.
And the governor's book about the pandemic was reportedly worked on by government staff, who have said they were volunteering their time when doing so.
Cuomo was in Buffalo on Friday to sign a bill meant to expand broadband access in the state. His office selected a half-dozen questions from reporters who did not ask about any of the controversies facing the governor.
But those who were in attendance praised his handling of the last 12 months.
"I trust Governor Cuomo's leadership," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.