Reports: Cuomo offers to not run again for governor if legislature holds off on impeaching him

Office of the NY Governor via AP

You trust Andrew Cuomo to keep a promise, don’t you?

Neither does the state assembly:

Sixty-three percent of New Yorkers support removing him from office at last check. What kind of “deal” does he think he’s offering by declining not to run again when he’s probably unelectable at this point anyway?

I guess much depends on the word “probably.” Election Day is 15 months away. Fifteen months ago, Cuomo was the darling of American liberals everywhere for his, ahem, leadership on COVID.

A lot can change in 15 months.

But that’s precisely why this deal can’t be considered, right? There’s no reason to think Cuomo would abide by his pledge not to run again if something happened later this year to restore his political fortunes.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to cut a deal with the state Legislature — offering to drop his bid for a fourth-term in exchange for not getting impeached, The Post has learned…

The three-term Democrat made the dubious offer before Attorney General Letitia James’ damning report on his conduct was released last Tuesday, according to a top party official.

“It was something that was floated to me by the folks in the Cuomo camp as a possible option before the attorney general’s report came out,” NYS Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told The Post, adding, “I never saw it as a viable option.”

Jacobs is a longtime Cuomo ally but he flipped to calling for his resignation after the AG report was issued. According to the Post his 2018 campaign chairman has also been counseling him to resign, telling him, “You don’t need this.” So have other top aides, who allegedly spent the weekend urging him to quit. Melissa DeRosa, his chief enforcer, apparently spent the past few days strategizing with allies to see if there are any strings that might be pulled to avert impeachment. Evidently she didn’t find any since she parachuted out of the Cuomo administration last night without even mentioning her longtime boss in her farewell statement.

I wonder if she was convinced to resign by Cuomo cronies who are desperate for ways to get through to the boss that it’s time to go. Nothing would convey the reality that he’s done politically as starkly as having DeRosa abandon him.

The Andrew Cuomo story will end in disgrace, amid a blizzard of investigations political and criminal. But he’s not the only Cuomo whose behavior warrants further scrutiny. Erik Wemple:

More relevant to CNN’s leadership is the link between the involvement of people such as Chris Cuomo and the miserable work culture of the state’s so-called “executive chamber.” The loyalties of such outside advisers, notes the report, channeled directly to Andrew Cuomo — not to the public interest or the state government, and certainly not to the sexual harassment victims. That dynamic was one of several factors that “contributed to creating an environment where the Governor’s sexually harassing conduct was allowed to flourish and persist,” reads the report.

Again: That’s far more than an optics problem for CNN.

The AG report, of course, focuses on Andrew Cuomo’s conduct, not Chris Cuomo’s. That’s why CNN needs to commission a report of its own to determine just how its star anchor fit into this sexual harassment pushback effort. What, precisely, did he say in the conference calls? Was he aware that the executive chamber had provided false information to the Albany Times-Union as the paper explored the predicament of “Trooper #1”? What role did he play in the governor’s denials?

What’s better than one Cuomo brother who’s bad at his job ending up unemployed? How about two Cuomo brothers who are bad at their jobs ending up unemployed?

The tricky part now for the state legislature in moving forward with impeachment is moving at the right pace. Move too quickly and they may create a loophole for Cuomo to exploit. (“[Cuomo]’s going to really fight the due process thing, like he’s going to try to win on a technicality. He’s going to try to win in the Assembly.”) Move too slowly and they risk losing public support for removing him, especially with Cuomo destined to use the time to make the case to voters that he’s being railroaded. “The main approach he has been considering in recent days has been to challenge whether the accusations are a basis for impeachment,” says the Times, noting that the state constitution defines impeachable conduct vaguely.

He’ll have plenty of time to strategize if his aides can’t convince him to quit, as the state assembly isn’t expecting a hold an impeachment vote until next month. But in the meantime the state senate is reportedly moving ahead too, talking with lawyers about being hired on as potential advisors on the impeachment process once the matter lands in their chamber. Maybe leaking that fact to the media is strategic, though, aimed at showing Cuomo that the legislature is taking this deadly seriously and preparing to proceed. They’d rather convince him to resign by showing him that it’s hopeless to hold out than go through the internecine bloodletting of impeaching a governor from their own party.

Here’s Brian Stelter of CNN reporting on two new rules for Chris Cuomo that have been laid down by network management. One: He can’t talk about Andrew on the air. Two: He can’t participate in any more strategy sessions with Cuomo’s aides. Uh, can he participate in strategy sessions with Andrew himself? Because according to the Times, the governor has “sought advice” from his younger brother about the mess that he’s in.