NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Controversy erupted Wednesday over the law firm chosen to conduct the Assembly’s investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo,
It happened as Cuomo showcased his support in the Black community.READ MORE: Cuomo’s Political Problems Mount As St. Sen. Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins Says She Thinks Impeachment Trial Would Result In Conviction
As CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, it was the embattled governor’s “Show of Shows.” He sang, celebrating NAACP leader Hazel Dukes’ birthday with a cake, got a Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, and introduced an all-star parade of religious leaders and political heavyweights to sing his praises.
“It is a pleasure to be joined by so many esteemed members of the community,” Cuomo said.
Legendary former Rep. Charlie Rangel addressed the sexual harassment scandal engulfing Cuomo head one, saying he deserved a full hearing.
Watch: Gov. Cuomo Gets Vaccinated In Harlem
“When people start piling up on you, and you’re trying to figure out – is this the same country that says that you can make any allegation that you want to make, but due process and a hearing is basically what we believe in this country,” Rangel said. “You go to your family and you go to your friends because you know they’re going to be with you.”
“If you want to light some candles after Mass, we’ll understand,” Dolan said. “Our prayers are with you, with your responsibilities.”
Seven women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. The state Assembly hired an outside law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, to handle its impeachment investigation. But a lawyer for one of the women and a group of legislative employees, protested the choice, saying a former partner has ties to the governor.
“They were vetted externally and internally. We didn’t find any conflict,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
During a late afternoon call with reporters, the governor pointed out that, according to a recent poll, New Yorkers don’t want him to resign.READ MORE: Cuomo Says He Will Not Resign As Sens. Schumer, Gillibrand, Reps. Nadler, Ocasio-Cortez And More Call For Him To Step Down
“That’s what I’m hearing from New Yorkers. I have a job to do they want me to do. Good job. They’re worried about COVID,” Cuomo said. “They believe in due process, that allegations are not guilt.”
The governor was asked a number of questions about investigation itself, but he refused to comment, saying he would wait until all the facts are in.
Tuesday night, President Joe Biden spoke out about Cuomo’s legal troubles as a leaked tape indicates the state Assembly postponed an impeachment vote to get witness testimony from all of the governor’s accusers.
A leaked tape indicated Heastie was able to put off Democrats demanding immediate impeachment by arguing it was important to make sure the seven women who have accused the governor of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior are telling the truth.
Yahoo! News reported that Heastie told members that some of the allegations were “…based on a newspaper article or other people’s assertions.”
“We need to get witness testimony. We need to hear from people who have this information. You put them under oath,” Heastie said. “They may have made false statements. I don’t know.”
Assemblyman Ron Kim did not I think the Assembly should put off the impeachment.
“I felt strongly I was part of a smaller group that felt that we already had the evidence to proceed with the impeachment,” Kim said.
President Biden weighed in after being asked if Cuomo should resign if the claims are confirmed.
“Yes. I think he’d probably end up being prosecuted too,” Biden said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also spoke out.
“We have zero tolerance for the behavior that is alleged against the governor. I think he is a supporter of zero tolerance. If these allegations prove to be true, zero tolerance,” Pelosi said.MORE NEWS: Groping Allegation Against Gov. Andrew Cuomo Referred To Albany Police
It’s unclear how long the Assembly probe will take and whether it will be finished before the attorney general finishes her investigation.