59 New York Democrats issue joint letter calling in embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign

Cuomo resign billboard
A billboard urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign is seen near downtown on March 2, 2021 in Albany, New York. Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images
  • 59 Democratic state lawmakers called on NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign on Thursday.
  • The joint letter marks the most significant pressure to date for Cuomo’s ouster.
  • NY Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie issued an ominous statement shortly afterwards.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A group of 59 Democrats in New York’s state legislature on Wednesday called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.

Democrats from both the Assembly and Senate signed onto the joint letter, which demanded Cuomo step aside and allow Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to serve for the remainder of his term, which expires at the end of 2022.

-Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) March 11, 2021

While Cuomo faces several major scandals simultaneously, the joint letter from lawmakers comes on the heels of the most serious allegation of sexual misconduct against Cuomo to date, with a sixth accuser reportedly telling her supervisor that the governor “aggressively groped her in a sexually charged manner.”

The supervisor then reported the current staffer’s account to New York Attorney General Tish James’s office, which is conducting an independent investigation of Cuomo’s conduct.

Some of the lawmakers who signed the joint letter had already called on Cuomo to resign, including those who told Insider that they are open to impeaching Cuomo if he won’t step aside.

Others were new, bringing the total of Assembly members calling for his ouster to 40. If all of the Republicans in the lower chamber were to vote for Cuomo’s impeachment, 76 Democrats would be needed for the trial to move on to the Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be required to convict, according to New York’s impeachment rules.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the leader of the Democrats in the lower chamber, issued a press release shortly after the letter was sent out, noting that he will meet with members to discuss “potential paths forward” given the growing number of allegations.

In the past, Heastie has only gone so far as to say that he is confident in the attorney general’s investigation, and that the process should play out. Heastie is the key figure in whether an impeachment proceeding would move forward, much like US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

-Dan Clark (@DanClarkReports) March 11, 2021

Later on Thursday morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the “deeply troubling” allegations against Cuomo “absolutely unacceptable.”

“It is disgusting to me and he can no longer serve as governor,” he said at a press conference, The New York Times reporter, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, first reported.

-The Recount (@therecount) March 11, 2021