A New York assemblyman is calling for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s impeachment following a state report showing Cuomo used top state officials to help draft his book deal during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was “not fully transparent” about nursing home deaths.
Democrat Assemblyman Ron Kim, who lost his uncle to COVID-19 in a nursing home, slammed the disgraced former governor’s “criminal” actions Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” after the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee found Cuomo “utilized state resources and property, including work by Executive Chamber staff, to write, publish, and promote his book regarding his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.”
“At the peak of the pandemic the governor and his top aides were chasing down a $5.1 million book deal engaged in a race to the highest bidder while everyone was suffering,” Kim said. “Family advocates and I have been pushing for transparency and truth around the book deal because that’s where he was financially motivated to suppress the nursing home data for months.”
Investigators also found the Cuomo administration “was not fully transparent” with the American people about the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of COVID-19, and out-of-facility deaths were deliberately left out of a published state Department of Health report, which Cuomo had a significant hand in editing and revising after he faced criticism for his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.
“This is criminal public fraud when you are suppressing life and death data… If we had real-time truth and accountability and data, we could have legislated differently and saved thousands of people’s lives, and he took that right away from us,” Kim said.
The 60-page report also showed “overwhelming evidence” Cuomo “engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment, including by creating a hostile work environment and engaging in sexual misconduct.”
Kim is pushing for impeachment to prevent Cuomo from ever seeking public office again.
“I want to make sure that the federal prosecutors, the state attorney general, continue to investigate and hold him accountable now that the evidence is abundantly clear that he monetized that office while people were dying.”
Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, issued a statement Monday slamming the Assembly for not sharing the findings with him before releasing the report.
“The Assembly’s report simply parrots the attorney general’s flawed report, failing to engage with the many errors and omissions in the AG’s report and her one-sided, biased investigation,” she said. “And, like the AG, the Assembly refused to provide the former governor with access to all the evidence, again denying the governor due process and a meaningful ability to respond. This is disappointing, but hardly surprising.”
Kim stands behind the investigation and calls it a “big step in the right direction” for victims’ families.
“We reached the point where even the highest level of ethical attorneys in our team has determined that this is an act of criminality, and he must be held accountable,” he said.
“People think that once he’s gone, resigned, we can’t impeach him [Cuomo]. That is not what our law says. We have a duty to impeach someone and remove the criminality act so we can protect the integrity of the legislative body and prevent him from seeking public office again.”
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.