New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said that “leftist” Democrats pressured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into launching the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, and warned that the inquiry will ultimately go "nowhere."
"I think we now go to a very long and unproductive road," he said during a chat on political civility at Seton Hall Law School with former N.J. Gov Chris Christie, according to The New York Daily News.
“Speaker Pelosi was dealing with pressure from her caucus and...there is a heightened leftist component to the Democratic Party that she was feeling pressure for,” Cuomo said. “She is a deliberate, responsible person. She is not a knee-jerk person and I think she even resisted the pressure in her caucus admirably for a long period of time.”
Pelosi announced the inquiry this week in the wake of revelations about President Trump’s July conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump sought assistance in investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In particular, Trump asked about Biden’s bragging that he secured the firing of the Eastern European country’s top prosecutor who had been investigating a firm to which Hunter had ties.
A whistleblower’s complaint alleges that Trump was soliciting help in the 2020 election, while Democrats have claimed the call is evidence of a quid pro quo, in which Trump requests foreign assistance against a political rival in exchange for the unlocking of withheld military aid. They have also alleged a "cover-up."
"They're doing their quote unquote inquiry. I think the Ukraine issue raises a lot of questions and I think it is for an investigative committee, it is fodder they can spend months, one witness after another, one witness after another, on all sort of different tracks,” Cuomo said. “Where does it go ultimately? Nowhere, because even if they vote for impeachment, it goes to the Senate and it wouldn't happen in the Senate.”
"So my guess is that this continues and blends into the presidential campaign. The problem with that is that nothing else is going to get done between now and then," he said.
Cuomo’s comments underscore the wariness with which the impeachment push is being seen by some more centrist parts of the Democratic Party -- who fear that the country is not yet with them on the inquiry and that it could backfire in an election year as it eclipses other parts of the Democratic agenda.
The Daily News reported that it was a shift for Cuomo after he said Wednesday that “you’re darn right there should be an inquiry.”
But a spokeswoman for Cuomo told the Daily News that the governor on Thursday was describing the divide before Trump’s Ukraine call was revealed.
“Early calls for impeachment from the far left flank members of the caucus were more aggressive, and Nancy Pelosi was taking a deliberative path which the governor agreed with,” the spokeswoman said. “However, that all changed once the Ukraine revelations came to light.”