I feel like the last buffalo, a relic of the past, out of touch.

My feeling arises because I cannot accept the virtually unanimous call for Andrew Cuomo’s  resignation as the Governor of New York based upon a report by two very smart lawyers alleging sexual harassment of eleven women. I believe these demands are ill-advised.

The civil investigation leading to the report was requested by Attorney General Letitia James. It was referred to her in March of this year by Andrew Cuomo.

In detailing the women’s complaints, the lawyers say the Governor’s office had a “hostile work environment” and a “toxic culture” and that the Governor engaged in a “pattern” of “unwanted touching” and made comments of a “suggestive sexual nature.”

The eleven women include those harassed some time ago or recently and are both state employees and those who were not employed by the state. The report includes graphic descriptions of what the women say Cuomo did or said and detail their revulsion at his behavior.

President Biden has called for Cuomo’s resignation.

In my opinion the President had no business getting involved.

Governor Cuomo has denied the allegations.

The next step is impeachment by the Assembly, New York’s lower house. The constitutional grounds are “misconduct or malversation [sic]”. A simple majority is required. The Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is studying four charges against Cuomo: sexual harassment; improper use of state funds; lying about nursing home deaths during the pandemic; and problems with defective bolts on the Mario Cuomo bridge. Calls are being made to dispense with the other three or bring them up later and proceed to impeach “immediately” on the sex charges. (Do you hear a choo-choo?)

If impeached, Cuomo would step aside until the trial in the Senate is concluded and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would become acting governor. Those hearing the trial would include all the senators except the majority leader (who would be Acting Lieutenant Governor) and all seven judges of the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, all appointed by Cuomo.  A two-thirds vote is required to convict.

If acquitted, Cuomo would go back to being Governor.

The problem I have is that the thorough and devastating report leading to all this is hearsay. It’s all of a piece: “X says that Cuomo did it and Y corroborates X.”

Neither the witness nor the corroborator is available as of now. Assuming that all would confirm the report’s charges, shouldn’t there be an opportunity to ask them questions about what they say before tossing the thrice-elected governor? I think so.

The demand for facts has permeated Democratic and media criticism of Republican charges questioning the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.  Shouldn’t facts be adduced in the Cuomo matter by permitting his smart lawyers to confront the alleged “victims” of his alleged misdeeds?

Due process is important, even for the reviled.