Sexual harassment and assault accusations were revealed Monday against one of the biggest critics of President Trump – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Harrowing accounts of violence, fear, and intimidation”
Ronan Farrow reported the accusations from four women at the New Yorker Monday.
“Four women accuse NY attorney general and #MeToo advocate Eric Schneiderman of violent physical abuse,” he tweeted. “Several gave harrowing accounts of violence, fear, and intimidation to @JaneMayerNYer and I in our @NewYorker investigation.”
The report says that the four women accuse Schneiderman of “nonconsensual physical violence” and that they didn’t speak out earlier over fears of “reprisals” from the attorney general.
Two women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, say that he hit them repeatedly and threatened to kill them if they broke up with him.
A third woman did not want to reveal her identity, but told the two women that Schneiderman “repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence.” A fourth woman, a prominent lawyer, accuses Schneiderman of forcefully slapping her when she rebuffed his advances.
Here’s what Schneiderman said about the accusations
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” he said in a statement released Monday. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
Schneiderman has supported the “Me Too” movement, which took off after Ronan Farrow’s report exposing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
A big-time Trump critic
Schneiderman has been a vocal critic of Trump, and has used his capacity as the attorney general of New York, where Trump resided before the election, to combat the president’s policies. Schneiderman said his office had been investigating both the Donald J. Trump Foundation, and the Eric Trump Foundation.
He also said that he would sue to maintain women’s abortion rights if the president cut off federal aid to Planned Parenthood. Most recently he advocated for a change in the state law so that charges could be brought up against certain individuals if the president pardoned them.
UPDATE: 10:57 p.m. EST
Eric Schneiderman announced his resignation very soon after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for him to step down from the attorney general’s office.
“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York,” Schneiderman said in a statement released Monday. “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,” he explained, “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.”