New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has started preparing for the possibility of taking over for embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
Hochul, who has told people that as first in the line of succession, she could be called on to take over in a matter of weeks, has reportedly sought advice on whom to hire and which members of Cuomo’s administration might stay on if he resigned or was removed from office.
Impeachment has become much more likely after a report by New York State Attorney General Letitia James stated that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and created a “hostile work environment,”which has increased pressure on him to leave office, according to Business Insider.
If Cuomo resigns or gets removed through impeachment, Hochul would serve out the rest of his term until 2023, which would make her New York’s first female governor.
An official in her office told The Wall Street Journal it was it was the job of the lieutenant governor to be prepared to take over as governor and that Hochul was receiving advice from numerous sources but that she had no inside information on Cuomo’s intentions.
Hochul last week said that the report by James “documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the governor” and that “no one is above the law.”
However, she did not call for Cuomo’s resignation, as other Democratic Party leaders have, but said the state Assembly — which is preparing articles of impeachment — would be the body to determine the next steps.
The Assembly judiciary committee is scheduled to meet on Monday and offer an update on the probe. Lawyers working for the committee have given the governor until Aug. 13 in order to submit evidence in his defense.
New York State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs said he talked with Hochul last week after he called on Cuomo to resign.
“I don’t think it’s going to take much for her to step up,” Jacobs said. “Not only does she know all the players in the Democratic Party and the government, she’s respected by them.”
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