Should the impeachment investigation involving Andrew Cuomo proceed to a vote, all 7 Court of Appeals judges involved will have been appointed by the New York Governor himself.
The New York state impeachment process is a bit unique in that following an impeachment vote in the Assembly, a court is formed consisting of members of the Senate as well as the seven members of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
Those judges – Rowan Wilson, Jenny Rivera, Leslie Stein, Eugene Fahey, Michael Garcia, Paul Feinman and Chief Judge Janet DiFiore – were all appointed by Cuomo between 2013 and 2017.
In an interview with NewsMax, former Rep. John Faso (R-NY) said that the Cuomo appointees are “mostly liberal … very liberal” and “they are all Democrats except one.”
“The seven judges could be instrumental in determining the outcome of a potential impeachment trial as they would make up 10% of the 70-person impeachment court,” Fox News analyzes.
The specter of having judges appointed by Andrew Cuomo possibly deciding the outcome of an impeachment trial for the governor is raising concerns that the process may be compromised.
Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie has said the probe would be “very broad,” possibly including more than just the numerous sexual harassment claims against Cuomo.
Heastie announced on Wednesday that the Assembly had hired one of the nation’s top-rated law firms, Davis Polk & Wardwell, to assist with the investigation.
The group includes a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor who worked as an assistant special counsel on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who was the first to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct, is not impressed with the investigation thus far, calling it a “sham,” “corrupt,” and “cynical” probe.
Boylan insisted she would not take part in the state-led impeachment probe.
“Do not trust [Heastie],” she tweeted. “His impeachment investigation is not designed to be transparent or to move fast, and there’s nothing [Cuomo] wants more than time.”
“Many of us have not put our whole lives on the line for this crap,” she added. “I certainly have not and will not.”
Boylan has claimed that Cuomo forcibly kissed her on the lips and suggested “let’s play strip poker.”
The impeachment investigation is supposed to address the nursing home scandal as well, inarguably the bigger issue at hand for Cuomo.
That scandal involves an executive order by the governor directing nursing homes to take in COVID-positive patients and the subsequent cover-up involving the number of deaths related to that order.
Cuomo, on March 25th of last year, issued an executive order prohibiting nursing homes from requiring incoming patients “to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Cuomo refused to reverse the directive for over six weeks while well over 15,000 senior citizens succumbed to the virus.
The Political Insider reported in August that what separated New York from other states with their own nursing home directives is that the staff at the facilities felt pressured by the Governor.
Politifact confirmed the notion saying Cuomo left executives at nursing homes feeling that “they had no choice but to accept these patients” despite the threat of spreading the virus.
Michael Kraus, a Staten Island nursing home administrator, has alleged he and other executives of long-term care facilities were “petrified” of the Cuomo order and that his concerns were “shot down” by state officials.
“Many facilities vocalized it,” Kraus said in an interview with Fox News.
“They were petrified, but they were more petrified of the Department of Health … once it [my concern] was shot down, I never spoke [about it] again.”
Secretary to the Governor, Melissa DeRosa, admitted on a conference call in February that the administration hid information on COVID nursing home deaths from federal investigators.
For months the administration reported around 8,500 deaths, nearly 50% less than the confirmed number.
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