In what are his first comments since he announced he would resign as governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo said that he believes he "did the right thing" — but still didn't sound like he was backing down from his stance that he did nothing wrong.
Cuomo told New York Magazine that he felt like he "did the right thing for the state" by resigning, but not because he thinks he was guilty of sexual misconduct. If anything, it seemed that he viewed his resignation as doing the state and legislature a favor, because he told the magazine that he would "win" his impeachment trial, and make the legislators look like "fools."
“I’m not gonna drag the state through the mud, through a three-month, four-month impeachment, and then win, and have made the State Legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools, when everything I’ve done all my life was for the exact opposite. I’m not doing that. I feel good. I’m not a martyr," Cuomo told New York Magazine.
He also said he wasn't sure what he was going to do once he leaves office, but said that "disappearing" is not part of his plan.
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"I have a voice, I have a perspective and that’s not gonna change. And the details aren’t really that important to me to tell you the truth. You know? I’m a New Yorker, I’ve lived here, I’ve lived in Queens, I’ve lived in the city, I’ve lived upstate, I’ve lived everywhere, I came to Washington, so that’s … I don’t really care about that. I’ll figure that out. And I think I did the right thing."
Cuomo told the reporter he felt "philosophical" since making his announcement that he would resign in 14 days, saying that he views the scandal through a historical lens.
The interview took place on the same day that Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement that the Assembly Judiciary Committee had heard from its lawyers, and announced that it can’t impeach and remove an elected official no longer in office. That means that the months-long impeachment probe into Cuomo will be suspended before the end of the month, the same day the embattled governor is expected to resign from his post.
Nevertheless, Heastie said, the evidence the committee had gathered "could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned."
Heastie added that credible evidence of sexual harassment, the misuse of state resources for the governor's pandemic memoir, and misleading disclosures of nursing home data was found through the committee's investigation. Those files will be turned over to relevant investigatory authorities, the speaker said.
Cuomo faces ongoing probes from the state attorney general over his $5 million book deal and from state prosecutors, who are scrutinizing his handling of nursing home deaths data. The state’s ethics commissioners, who could levy fines against Cuomo, are also looking into similar issues.