The speaker of New York’s state Assembly on Thursday asked that its Judiciary Committee open an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the first step in potentially drafting articles of impeachment, The Post has learned.
Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) strongly recommended launching the probe during a private meeting of select Assembly Democrats, and again during a meeting of the entire party conference, multiple sources familiar with the matter said.
Heastie said the committee, which is chaired by Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Long Island), should examine both the accusations that Cuomo groped and sexually harassed several female aides, as well as his administration’s cover-up of the total number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19, a source said.
“Heastie asked the Judiciary Committee to address all the allegations against Cuomo,” the source said.
“The Judiciary Committee would make a recommendation to the Assembly for or against impeachment.”
The matter was debated ahead of Thursday’s afternoon session of the Assembly and was taken up by the entire Democratic conference afterward, sources said.
“The members are overwhelmingly in favor of Carl’s proposal for a Judiciary Committee investigation of Cuomo,” a Democratic Assembly source said.
Heastie has also notified Attorney General Letitia James, who on Monday hired a team of outside lawyers — including former acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim — to investigate the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.
“She has no problem with it,” an insider briefed on the matter said.
Heastie’s extraordinary move followed a statement issued Thursday morning in which more than 55 Democratic members of the state Legislature called on Cuomo to resign — in the wake of a report that alleged he put his hands under a female staffer’s blouse and groped her inside Albany’s Executive Mansion late last year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also joined the growing, bipartisan chorus demanding Cuomo’s resignation amid the spiraling, twin scandals engulfing him.
Impeaching the three-term governor would require a simple majority vote of the Assembly, which is composed of 106 Democrats, 43 Republicans and one independent.
If Cuomo were impeached, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would automatically become acting governor pending a trial before the state Senate and the seven members of the Court of Appeals.
Under the New York Constitution, both Hochul and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) would be barred from taking part in the trial.
On Sunday, Stewart-Cousins called on Cuomo to resign, reportedly after he told her the only way he would leave office was through impeachment.
Cuomo has previously said he would seek a fourth term next year, but during a news conference on Tuesday refused to say if that was still his plan.