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Cuomo's Political Problems Mount As St. Sen. Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins Says She Thinks Impeachment Trial Would Result In Conviction

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's political problems mounted Tuesday as the State Senate majority leader now says she thinks an impeachment trial would result in conviction for the three term chief executive.

As CBS2's political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, the question about Cuomo that was put to State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins was simple and straightforward: Does the upper house have the votes to impeach New York's chief executive?

"You know, I think a majority of my members have come out and suggested that the governor should resign, so I haven't canvassed anyone, but I think the majority of my members have spoken," Stewart-Cousins said.

Although seven women have come forward charging Cuomo with sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, a lot has to happen before the governor would face a Senate trial.

First, the Assembly would have to vote articles of impeachment. The lower house is still at the investigation stage, hiring an outside lawyer to conduct a wide-ranging probe. It will not be limited to the sexual harassment charges - it will include nursing homes and problems with the Mario Cuomo bridge, among other things.

TIMELINE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Under Investigation For Nursing Home Deaths, Sexual Harassment Allegations

"We have a wide range of issues that come up, and every one of those concerns is very important," said Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens).

Kim – who claims the governor bullied him over the nursing home investigation — also wants the probe to look at the governor's book contract to see if that played a role in the administration's decision to downplay COVID deaths in nursing homes.

"I'm confident there's some personal profit motives in the contact. For example, how much money will he receive if he makes the New York Times bestseller list? How much money would he make if he sells 50,000 books? What are the benchmarks?" Kim said.

Watch Marcia Kramer's report -- 

Speaking of bullying, Stewart-Cousins says she's also experienced that side of the governor's personality.

"The governor is well known for being who he is and making sure you know how he feels. This Andrew Cuomo is certainly somebody who I have met," she said.

Assembly sources tell Kramer they think their impeachment process will take four to six weeks. The attorney general's probe could take longer.

President Joe Biden told ABC News he does believe Cuomo should resign if the investigation confirms the sexual harassment claims.

"I think he'd probably end up being prosecuted, too," the president said.

Biden also told ABC News he would leave it up to the state to decide if Cuomo can remain an effective governor during an investigation.

"I start with the presumption it takes a lot of courage for a woman to come forward. Some are not, anyway -- it takes a lot of courage to come forward, so the presumption is it should be taken seriously," he said.

Meanwhile, there are new reports that Cuomo tried to disparage one of his accusers, CBS2's Dick Brennan reports.

The New York Times says that when Lindsey Boylan first made sexual harassment allegations in December, Cuomo's staff circulated an open letter attacking Boylan's credibility.

The report says the governor helped draft the letter and hoped former staff members would sign it.

Boylan has been joined by six other women who allege harassment or inappropriate behavior by the governor.

On Monday, accuser Charlotte Bennett met with state investigators for four hours. Her attorney says the investigation will reveal an abuse of power by the governor and his office.

"They're clear patterns of how his inner staff silenced women when they came forward, remove women when they came forward with allegations and just covered up for the governor," attorney Debra Katz said.

CBS2's Dick Brennan contributed to this report.


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