On Thursday, May 9, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. released his objections to allowing his probe of Eric Schneiderman be taken over by a special prosecutor.
During a joint news conference at Governor Cuomo’s office in Manhattan, Vance explained that his frustration over losing control of the investigation contributed to him lashing out at the governor. Now two days after Cuomo assigned the investigation of the allegations of domestic-violence against the former-attorney general to Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, Vance and the governor publicly made nice and “buried the hatchet.”
Vance said, “The governor’s office and our office were not in communication as carefully during this period as perhaps we could have been. Perhaps I was a little frustrated when the ground rules changed. That said, I think I completely understand the governor’s decision.”
According to The Post, “Vance had accused Cuomo of overstepping his bounds by handing the case to Singas, and he appeared uncomfortable during the news conference, repeatedly pursing his lips, fidgeting with a glass of water and looking at a pile of papers when he wasn’t speaking. Cuomo said Wednesday that it would have been ‘silly’ to let Vance investigate Schneiderman following Cuomo’s March order for a review by the attorney general’s office of a 2015 case in which Vance declined to prosecute movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in the alleged groping of a model.”
Just hours after the four women’s allegations that they were assaulted by Schneiderman was published in the New Yorker magazine on Monday, May 7, he quickly announced his resignation from his position as Attorney General.
In his statement of resignation, Schneiderman said, “It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as attorney general for the people of the State of New York. In the last several hours, 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. I, therefore, resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”
As previously reported by The Jewish Voice, Schneiderman was accused by multiple women of nonconsensual physical violence. None have spoken to the wide cross section of the media as of yet, with some saying that they fear pushback. Two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, according to Farrow’s report “because they feel that doing so could protect other women.”
According to the New Yorker report, the two women have alleged that they were repeatedly hit by Schneiderman while he was in a drunken rage, frequently in bed and never with their consent. They have termed the physical violence as “assault.” The magazine stated: “They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked. Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him.” (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he “never made any of these threats.”)
By Charles Bernstein