Update: Attorney General Eric Scheniderman announced he will resign at the end of day tomorrow. Here is his statement:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement this evening saying he believes Attorney General Eric Scheiderman should resign following a New Yorker story that featured four women accusing the Democratic AG of physical abuse.
Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo pic.twitter.com/XHV9g2lxvJ
— Melissa DeRosa (@melissadderosa) May 8, 2018
Schneiderman, an early and outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement, responded to the accusations telling The New Yorker, “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is I line I would not cross.”
Two women, Michelle Manning Barrish and Tanya Selvarnatam spoke to The New Yorker on the record telling them that Schneiderman repeatedly struck them. The two other women were unidentified. Both women who spoke on the record say they didn’t call the police but did require medical attention. They both indicate that Schneiderman drank heavily and flaunted his power as the chief law enforcement officer of New York State.
Barrish described to The New Yorker her reaction to being struck across the face by Schneiderman.
“I was crying and in shock,” she says. She recalls shouting, “Are you crazy?” To her astonishment, Schneiderman accused her of scratching him. At one point—she can’t remember if it was at this moment or in a later conversation—he told her, “You know, hitting an officer of the law is a felony.”
Schneiderman has built a national reputation for his clashes with the Trump administration. His office oversaw the Trump University fraud lawsuit and won a $24 million settlement.
Schneiderman’s office is reviewing how Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office handled sexual harassment and rape allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Cuomo and Schneiderman had a pronounced political rivalry that appeared to have subsided in recent years since Cuomo began feuding with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Earlier this year Sen. Jeff Klein, a Cuomo ally and former head of the Independent Democratic Conference, was accused of forcibly kissing a staffer. Cuomo issued this statement on that matter: “Every allegation of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. I agree with Senator Klein and with Senator Krueger that this disturbing situation should be investigated, and I believe it should be done immediately and independently.”
If Schneiderman does resign it would be up to the Democratically controlled Assembly to replace him.