By early September, the judiciary committee could make a decision on whether to draft articles of impeachment against Mr. Cuomo.
The State Constitution offers few parameters on the steps that need to be taken during an impeachment process, so lawmakers are drawing on examples from impeachment proceedings in other states, as well as proceedings against lower-level state officials. They have also studied the 1913 impeachment in of Gov. William Sulzer, the only governor to be impeached in the history of New York.
Lawmakers in the 150-seat Assembly could impeach Mr. Cuomo with a simple majority vote. But Mr. Heastie is likely to proceed with impeachment only if he has the support of enough Democrats alone to vote in favor of impeachment, sticking to a long-held convention in Albany of moving only on measures that are supported by a majority of the party in control.
Even though there is enough support among Republicans and Democrats to impeach, Mr. Heastie’s approach means that 76 out of the 106 lawmakers who caucus with Democrats would need to support impeachment.
A trial would then be held in the State Senate, where Democrat are in the majority, with a jury made up of most Senate members and the seven judges from the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic majority leader, would have to abstain, according to the State Constitution.
A two-thirds majority is required to convict.
The State Senate has already begun consulting with outside legal experts on a possible trial.
“We have been preparing for this possibility since the Spring when we thought this might be something that could occur, but there is not a lot of precedent in this situation,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris, the deputy majority leader. “We’ve dug pretty deep into the legal analyses about how to do this properly.”
If convicted, Mr. Cuomo would be removed from office and potentially barred permanently from seeking statewide political office. He would be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul, a Democrat.