Andy McCarthy’s legal knowledge exceeds mine by approximately the same extent that the size of the Milky Way (galaxy) exceeds the size of a Milky Way (candy bar), but I’m skeptical of his assertion that “the walls are rapidly closing in on Andrew Cuomo.” Andy thinks that Cuomo is hearing the drumbeats of doom and will soon resign. I think Cuomo is so shameless that he will never resign unless he is guaranteed to be removed via impeachment. I see the walls closing in with such deliberate speed that they will not close this month and maybe not ever. I think the key figures are betting that if they can drag this thing out for four weeks or so, we’ll be into the fall, at which point they can argue, “Look, there’s an election a year away. Let’s let the voters decide.” Cuomo, should he just brazen it out, could be reelected by double digits next year. Do you really think he wants to let Bill de Blasio win? Cuomo would rather drink Gowanus Canal water than give de Blasio gloating rights for the rest of their lives.
Impeachment is in the hands of Democrat and Cuomo ally Carl Heastie, Speaker of the State Assembly. Heastie could have convened an emergency session and put impeachment on the floor last week if he had felt like it. The leader of the Republican caucus urged Heastie to do exactly that last week. And what is Heastie doing? Well, after seven months of investigation he wants . . . more investigation. Sworn statements from most or all of the relevant parties are in. So, let’s get some more information. Let’s not rush this!
Heastie said it is “abundantly clear” that Cuomo must go, but that’s passing the buck. Cuomo’s fate is largely in Heastie’s hands. Heastie has the votes. So what is he waiting for? “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,” he said. “Expeditiously” is a word politicians use when they intend to move as though each foot is encased in wet cement.
I think Heastie thinks that if he can drag this out a bit, after a few media cycles and maybe a crocodile-tear speech by Cuomo acknowledging he hasn’t always respected women as much as he should have, New York’s outrage will dissipate. Heastie doesn’t seem to be itching to take out Cuomo. His Twitter feed is notably lacking in anger with Cuomo or demands that he resign. The Speaker has tweeted twice this month, once to grieve for a cousin who died and once to congratulate a high-school classmate on her judicial nomination.
Though it was received as a bombshell, the state Attorney General’s report last week merely confirmed and added some details to the stories that everybody had heard, and largely believed, last winter. And what was the reaction? Cuomo still had a 57 percent approval rating among Democrats as of April. Last week, in the immediate wake of the AG report, his overall approval rating was down to 28, and 63 percent of New Yorkers said he should be impeached and removed. Heastie is going to wait and see if those numbers come back to normal after the shock wears off. If they do, the Speaker will be able to argue that public support is not sufficiently strong to impeach the governor. His name is Heastie, not hasty.
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