One Of Trump’s Most Effective Foes Is Suddenly Gone
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns After Accusations Of Physical Abuse By 4 Women
The New Yorker broke the story last evening; the resignation came less than 4 hours later. The story by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow describes accusations of “nonconsensual physical violence” in great detail by women with whom Schneiderman had relationships. Especially the 2 women who agreed to go on the record. The New Yorker also emphasizes that alcohol often “fuelled his violent behavior”.
In the article, Schneiderman seeks to characterize his behavior as “role-playing”.
Schneiderman saying in a written resignation statement: “serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”
Schneiderman, along with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, have been at the front of a pack of blue state Attorneys General who’ve been leading a charge to challenge many of President Trump’s most controversial Executive Orders in court, including those regarding immigration, education, and the environment. He is perhaps best known for his role in prosecuting the Trump University fraud case, which ended with the President paying a $25-million dollar settlement, but without admitting any wrongdoing.
Schneiderman’s office was also seen as potentially key to the success of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, with legal scholars theorizing that since the President only has the power to pardon in federal cases, the threat of a separate case being brought in New York State might still compel witnesses to testify. (Any alleged crime that occurred in Trump Tower could be charged under New York State law.)
Schneiderman was also outspoken and aggressive in women’s rights and sexual harassment cases, and was in fact investigating Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. for failing to prosecute sexual abuse crimes against Harvey Weinstein. Schneiderman also filed suit against Weinstein on behalf of his victims.
What’ll happen now?
- Schneiderman will be investigated. The question is by whom? The New York Times reported late last night he’s already retained a criminal defense attorney.
- The New York State Assembly and Senate will jointly vote on a replacement. (And it’s lucky for Democrats it isn’t the Senate’s job alone, because the New York State Senate is currently controlled by Republicans.) Then, a new Attorney General will be elected in the fall.
If you look at Twitter about now, seems there’s already one clear front-runner: former SDNY Chief Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump. Bharara, who now hosts a podcast, and Tweets a lot, has nothing to say about that possibility so far.
President Trump hadn’t Tweeted either yet at the time we published this, although Donald Trump, Jr. sprayed the Twittersphere with gleeful gloating throughout the evening.