Kim, D-Flushing, told “The Story” he saw Cuomo’s resignation as potentially imminent following the resignation of top aide and defender Melissa DeRosa over the weekend.
Kim, a liberal Democrat who had endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president and Andrew Yang for mayor, said throughout the past year Cuomo’s scandals transcended party politics.
“I’m relieved that he stepped down so we can focus on the people’s work,” Kim said. “I’m grateful for the women who stepped up courageously. I committed in March that after he goes down for sexual assault and harassment, I will still be here to hold him accountable for the thousands of nursing home deaths that happened under his watch. And I plan on still doing that.”
Kim recalled being threatened by Cuomo last year during a phone call in which the now scandal-plagued governor asked bluntly “are you an honorable man?”
Kim’s uncle died in a New York nursing home on Cuomo’s watch after the NYS Department of Health ordered COVID-positive patients to be returned to their hospices. The assemblyman later refused to help the governor with damage control as the nursing home scandal further spiraled, infuriating the 63-year-old former Clinton HUD secretary.
“I can tell the whole world what a bad person you are and you will be finished: You will be destroyed,” Kim recalled Cuomo telling him.
Kim told host Martha MacCallum that Cuomo is a “delusional man who needs some help,” adding that his resignation speech was not close to any form of apology for his alleged actions in the sexual harassment allegations.
“It’s surreal. I’m a little bit shocked based on what I myself and my family went through and what we witnessed today,” he said. “He obviously doesn’t see the reality of what everyone else sees. Even today, it wasn’t a real apology. He wasn’t taking full responsibility of his actions. That’s not the type of leadership that we deserve.”
Kim said New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, – a longtime Cuomo ally – guaranteed the chamber on Monday that there had been no talks with the governor on resignation or potential impeachment proceedings.
Kim said it is up to Heastie and the rest of the chamber, which is Democrat-controlled, whether a post-facto impeachment will be executed, as Cuomo will be leaving office in 14 days. Former President Donald Trump was notably impeached after leaving office.
“I, for one, think the impeachment process is good for democracy. We will get to the truth of not just the women but all of the nursing home scandals, the book deal, everything else in between,” Kim said. “We deserve the truth so we can make sure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes moving forward.”
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat who served two terms in the U.S. Congress and several years in Erie County offices, will assume the governorship upon Cuomo’s resignation.
The resignation also throws a curveball in the 2022 governors race, as top Republican primary hopefuls Lee Zeldin of Suffolk, Andrew Giuliani of New York City, and Rob Astorino of Westchester had until now been preparing to face Cuomo next year.