NY Assembly Speaker would like a word with Cuomo accusers... "under oath"

There’s definitely a shift going on in New York’s state political circus when it comes to the seven (!) women who have now accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior and one case of what could certainly be considered sexual assault. (Copping a feel under her blouse twice.) Barely a week ago, undertakers were sizing up Cuomo’s political career to construct a coffin, but this week there have been some Democrats who are acting as if events are rushing forward too quickly and maybe, as the Governor has repeatedly pleaded, they should simply wait for the results of the investigation. Now, the Speaker of the Assembly sounds as if he’s taking things a step further and joining Cuomo in questioning the veracity of the accusers. Carl Heastie suggested yesterday that the women should all come in for questioning as to their allegations. And they should do so under oath. (NY Post)

The leader of New York’s Assembly privately cast doubt on the spiraling allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo — and said his accusers will have to be interviewed “under oath,” according to a report Tuesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) — who authorized an impeachment investigation of Cuomo last week — also warned Democratic legislators not to rush to judgment, noting that “people get accused of things,” Yahoo! News said.

“These days any one of us in this place could be accused,” Heastie said.

As noted, Heastie is one of the Democrats who was ready to draw up impeachment articles barely a week ago. Now he’s talking about an interview “under oath?” What, if anything has changed? I’m not saying that people offering testimony over a serious matter like this can’t be put under oath, but it’s a pretty aggressive move, particularly given how the left claims women who are victims of sexual harassment or assault should be treated. It gives one the sense that he’s telling them, sure, we want to hear your stories. But you’d better make sure they’re true or we’ll have you up on perjury charges.

When questioned about it during a Democratic conference call, Heastie appeared to confirm that idea by adding, “They may have made false statements. I don’t know.”

This happened after New York State Democratic Chairman Jay S. Jacobs came out with a message for Democrats, saying that since Cuomo clearly wasn’t going to resign on his own, it was time for everyone to just get back to work. That’s not a complete about-face because he mentioned waiting until the investigation played out, but it’s also a far cry from “The Governor must resign now.”

So where is this possible change of heart coming from. Could it be that the Democratic leadership got a look at that Sienna poll that Ed wrote about this week showing that barely a third of New Yorkers still want Cuomo out the door immediately? These people know how to read a poll and they’ve been swimming in the pool of NY Democratic politics for a long time. I’m getting the sense that some of them are starting to suspect that the Teflon Governor might just weasel out of this trap and remain in power. And if he does, they are all equally well aware that the enemies of Andrew Cuomo don’t tend to have long political careers. In terms of New York political hit jobs in the modern era, Cuomo knows where all of the figurative bodies are buried because he put most of them there.

My question for this esteemed assembly of Democrats is why all of the focus is still seemingly being placed on the sexual harassment allegations. It’s not that they aren’t important, but unless some third-party witnesses or physical evidence emerges, these remain literal “he said, she said” stories. Tara Reade’s claims were at least as plausible as any of these women’s and it didn’t seem to stop Joe Biden. And this investigation could drag on forever. If you really want to see Cuomo gone, why not just draft articles of impeachment over the nursing home deaths and coverup? There’s already been an investigation into that completed by the Attorney General and she delivered a pretty waterproof case with hard numbers to back it up. If you can’t impeach him on that, then you’re not going to impeach him on anything.

But that brings us back to the issue of Cuomo’s political punching power and reputation for avoiding traps. They may be growing wary and thinking of that old line from Ralph Waldo Emerson. ‘When you strike at a king, you must kill him.’ You rarely get a second chance if you miss.