Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized “leftist” Democrats for pushing Congress into launching an impeachment inquiry of President Trump and predicted the probe would lead to government gridlock.
The governor derided the “quote unquote inquiry” as the work of angry radicals who forced the hand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to mount what he suggested would ultimately be an exercise in futility.
“There is a heightened leftist component of the Democratic Party that she was feeling pressure from,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo ticked off a list of legislative priorities that would likely languish until after the 2020 elections now that he said Democrats will be focused on removing Trump from power.
“It’s a long and unproductive road,” Cuomo said. “Where does it go ultimately? Nowhere.”
The remarks are likely to enrage pro-impeachment Democrats who see impeachment as a righteous fight forced on them by Trump’s shameless abuse of power.
They will also likely bristle at his pointing a finger of blame at fellow Democrats if impeachment causes legislative priorities to go unmet. Democrats say they are eager to continue to do the people’s business even as they work to remove Trump — and it was Trump who famously stormed out of a meeting on infrastructure because Pelosi had endorsed an earlier investigation of his actions.
There was no immediate response from impeachment advocates including Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Jerry Nadler, and Joe Biden.
Cuomo made the controversial remarks at a conversation on “political civility” with ex-Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on Wednesday night.
The jovial sit-down was intended to burnish the men’s relationship as a paradigm for leaders to work together even when they have political differences.
Christie also had to face embarrassing questions about his own shifting goalposts when it comes to Trump and impeachment.
Before the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukraine president was released, Christie suggested it would be a big story if Trump “asked Ukraine for a favor” by digging up dirt on Biden.
After it turned out that Trump used those very words, Christie flip-flopped and claimed that Trump’s demand for dirt was not an impeachable offense.
“This is the president, who he is and how he talks, and how he does business. And this is no mystery to anybody who’s known him," Christie said, without explaining why that could excuse otherwise improper acts.