Cuomo’s resignation will be effective in 14 days, ending his term as the state’s 56th governor. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will then replace Cuomo, beginning her term as the state’s 57th governor.
From reactions around the political world to what New Yorkers can expect from Hochul as she steps in to replace Cuomo, here’s everything we know.
Andrew Cuomo resigned in what seemed like a routine press conference
Almost 10 minutes into a roughly 15-minute speech, Cuomo continued to issue apologies to women who may have been offended by his actions that he described as “being nice.”
Then, he abruptly announced his resignation to the public.
"Government really needs to function today. Government needs to perform. It is a matter of life and death government operations, and wasting energy on distractions, is the last thing that state government should be doing, and I cannot be the cause of that,'" Cuomo concluded. "Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now, is if I step aside and let government get back to governing."
In the minutes leading up to the impromptu resignation, Cuomo attempted to discredit the attorney general’s report by saying it was tainted by political motivations and falsehoods.
Andrew Cuomo's Political Career in Photos
Who takes over for Cuomo now that he has resigned?
In two weeks, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will step up to replace Cuomo as New York’s governor when his resignation goes into effect.
The move will be historic -- on Hochul’s part, at least -- because she will become the first women in the state’s history to serve as governor.
Despite many not knowing who she is, Hochul has a decorated resume that stretches back to the 1980s, when she was first elected into public office as a council member just outside of Buffalo.
An attorney and lifelong New Yorker, Hochul is currently wrapping up the tail end of her second term as the state’s 77th lieutenant governor. The governor-to-be had previously served just one partial term in Washington before losing her seat to Chris Collins.
“As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor,” Hochul said in a statement.
A quick look at Kathy Hochul’s political views
Hochul has been a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, pro-choice, and the LGBTQ community, according to her website.
While serving as lieutenant governor, Hochul was very vocal in the fight to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Hochul says that she is committed to empowering woman and has consistently placed priority on issues important to women. Hochul also supports equal pay for equal work.
Click here for a deeper look into the next New York governor's political views.
Can Cuomo still be impeached — and can he run again?
That legal question is murky, but the bottom line: He won’t be impeached. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Friday that lawyers advised the Legislature’s judiciary committee that it wouldn’t be constitutional to impeach Cuomo once he’s no longer governor.
Now, would Cuomo actually have been impeached? Tough to say. But a majority of the Assembly would have voted to advance impeachment, according to an AP poll conducted last week. And Heastie did say the “credible” evidence the committee amassed “could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned.”
But he did resign, so it’s moot. And as for the evidence that the probe was gathering, Heastie said he’s asked the committee chair to pass the evidence on to the appropriate authorities still investigating. It’s unclear if the public will get to see any of it at this point.
Once he does step away from office, there's nothing currently precluding him from throwing his hat in the ring for 2022. And although his donations dipped in the wake of the initial allegations, he had amassed an $18 million war chest as of mid-July. The only way he could be barred from seeking statewide office again is if he does get impeached (really would have been the only point of going through the whole impeachment process), which sounds like is off the table.
Chris Cuomo has yet to make a statement
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has, so far, remained silent as news of his brother’s resignation spread Tuesday.
Last week, Chris was under fire after prosecutors revealed that he was involved in managing the outgoing governor’s response to the sexual misconduct allegations brought up against him.
A jarring series of emails and text messages made public by investigators for New York Attorney General Letitia James appeared to show that Chris helped to develop talking points and strategies as sexual harassment allegations surfaced about his brother.
In one highlighted instance, one of Andrew’s public statements on his alleged actions seemed to almost mirror one of Chris’ emails verbatim.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Chris has yet to release a statement regarding his brother’s resignation.
READ: AG report on sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo
A bombshell report released by investigators concluded that Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State” employees and made “comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
Read the full report here.
Why is Cuomo waiting 14 days to leave office — what can he really do in that time?
Cuomo said he wanted to ensure a "seamless” transition to the new administration. He declared Hochul could be caught up to speed in a timely fashion.
It's unclear how engaged he'll be in public policy in his final days, but the state is dealing with a soaring number of COVID-19 cases and has been struggling to get aid to tenants who fell behind on rent because of the pandemic.
Where Cuomo stands regarding possible charges and the nursing home investigation
Prosecutors in Albany, Westchester and on Long Island have already said their investigations into whether Cuomo committed any crimes will continue. Cuomo might be hoping that prosecutors or the women who complained about his behavior might lose interest in pursuing a case now that he’s out of office.
As for the nursing home investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating how the state handled data related to nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. The state’s official tally left out many people who had died at hospitals. An aide said Cuomo's administration worried the true numbers would be “used against us” by President Donald Trump's administration.
More on the Cuomo Resignation
Where will Cuomo live?
He only moved to the governor's mansion in Albany in 2019. He previously lived with his ex-girlfriend, TV chef Sandra Lee, in the New York City suburbs. Lee owned that house. It remains to be seen where the now-single Cuomo — and his dog, Captain — will crash.