House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “look inside his heart” and ask whether he can still do his job after other top Democrats demanded he resign over recent allegations.
While Pelosi sharpened her tone on the national stage, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects the third-term governor to be impeached by state legislators “and perhaps right before that, he’ll decide to resign.”
Cuomo, 63, is fighting for his political life after most Democrats representing New York in the House and the state’s two U.S. senators called on him to step down. “I’m not going to resign,” he said during a call with reporters on Friday.
De Blasio, a longtime rival who repeatedly clashed with Cuomo over restrictions and policy during the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak last year, said the governor had become a liability in fighting the pandemic.
“He’s holding up our efforts to fight COVID. He’s literally in the way of us saving lives right now,” de Blasio said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “We’ve got to put the past behind us and Andrew Cuomo can’t lead us into the future.”
Even so, de Blasio said he expects Cuomo will “try to hold out.”
Pressure has been building on Cuomo after being accused of harassment, and allegations emerged that his administration covered up COVID nursing home deaths.
State Attorney General Letitia James has appointed an outside attorney to investigate the claims made against Cuomo. State assembly members last week initiated an impeachment investigation into the misconduct claims that could lead to his removal.
Pelosi, speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” stopped short of calling for Cuomo’s resignation. While expressing “all the respect in the world” for the accusers, she said the probe should be allowed to run its course.
“Hopefully this result will be soon,” Pelosi said. “What I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart — he loves New York — to see if he can govern effectively.”
On Friday, New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerrold Nadler and a majority of Democratic U.S. House members from New York, including recently elected progressives as well as veteran establishment figures in the party, called for Cuomo to step down.