BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Cuomo says he will not resign, but he could get impeached.
So, what’s next?
Retired New York State Supreme Court Judge, Penny Wolfgang, said criminal and civil cases are next.
“The women who are the victims could file civil lawsuits against the governor for damages because of all the harassment and things that happened to them,” Wolfgang said. "Criminal proceedings would be by the district attorney in Albany County where the assaults allegedly occurred."
The Speaker of the New York State Assembly said in a statement Tuesday that “it is abundantly clear to me that the governor has lost the confidence of the assembly democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office. Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the attorney general, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible."
We asked political expert, Jack O’Donnell, if Cuomo is more likely to resign if an impeachment trial starts.
“I think if the Assembly shows that they are moving forward with the impeachment, that’s the one thing that can change his mind,” O’Donnell said.
UB Law Professor, Jim Gardner, said if Cuomo is impeached, it will be the first time a New York Governor has been impeached since 1913.
“There’s no definition in the New York Constitution on what constitutes a criminal offense, so the range is extremely broad,” Gardner said.
The State Assembly would need to make a simple majority vote to charge Cuomo with impeachment.
“Then, the Senate joins with the Court of Appeals to become a high court of impeachment,” O’Donnell said. “Everyone except the majority leader of the Senate serves a jury. They decide on the merits of whether Governor Cuomo will be impeached.”
Unlike the presidential impeachment process, Cuomo would not stay in office during the trial.
“Before he is convicted and even before the trial begins, the lieutenant governor takes office,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell and Gardner said there are a lot of factors that go into how long this process will take.
“Instead of years, we’re really measuring this by days,” O’Donnell said. “Possibly months, but I think more days and weeks.”
“It tends to be a slow process, but you want them to take their time,” Gardner said.