New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns After Sexual Assault Allegations

The state of New York is reeling after the New Yorker published an article claiming the state’s Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has a history of abusing women.

So what happened, who will take over the role,and what sort of impact will this have on pending investigations — especially those involving President Donald Trump? Here’s everything you need to know.

1. What are the accusations?

According to the New Yorker, four different women have reported being physically or sexually abused by Schneiderman during their physical relationships or encounters with the politician.

The New Yorker reports:

[T]wo of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” 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.)

2. What was Schneiderman’s reaction?

While Schneiderman continues to claim innocence — stating that these were consensual acts of “role-playing,” rather than assault — he immediately resigned from office.

In a press release soon after the news broke, he stated:

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.

3. What will happen to Schneiderman?

The governor of New York is appointing a special prosecutor to look into all claims, including whether Schneiderman used “staff or office resources” to keep the alleged victims quiet.

4. So who is the new attorney general?

As of May 9, the new acting attorney general is Barbara Underwood.

According to a press release from the attorney general’s office:

Barbara D. Underwood was appointed New York Solicitor General in January 2007. Prior to her appointment she served as Counsel and as Chief Assistant to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. From 1998 to 2001 she was the Acting Solicitor General and Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States. She has held executive positions in the Queens and Brooklyn District Attorneys’ Offices, and served as a trial attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She has argued 20 cases in the United States Supreme Court, as well as many cases in the state and federal courts of appeals.

The New York Legislature has the ability, if it chooses, to appoint a new attorney general to fill the term as well. The attorney general is one of the seats open in the 2018 midterm election this November.

5. What about all of those investigations Schneiderman had open — especially the ones involving President Trump?

Schneiderman had investigated a number of Trump business entities — including Trump University – and it’s difficult to know if the next attorney general will continue watch-dogging the president’s businesses so methodically. But when it comes to blocking the administration’s most regressive policies, other states’ attorneys general are likely to fill any vacuum left behind.

The New York Times reports:

“The short answer is the work goes on,” said Sean Rankin, the executive director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “It does not slow down.” Even though Mr. Schneiderman has often served as the public face of the sprawling legal battles against Mr. Trump, Mr. Rankin said that his organization had already devised a strategy to share responsibility for the various lawsuits against the president’s policies. Doug Chin, the attorney general of Hawaii, for instance, took the lead against Mr. Trump’s travel ban, Mr. Rankin said, and Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, stepped to the front in fighting back against the president’s attempts to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Photo credit: Lonnie Tague/Wikimedia Commons

80 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx7 months ago

@ The tile, and the contents of this article is about the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's resignation after sexual assault allegations.

I started to read some comments, but gave up. Most of them is only pure hatred between Democratic and Republican voters, throwing tons of mud to each other. Of course I stopped reading. This is not what I understand to be AN INTERNATIONAL PODIUM TO GIVE COMMENTS ON SEXUAL ASSAULT. Also, at a certain moment CANADIAN politicians are being discussed. Is there something wrong with me ??

I understood that the main issue of this article was sexual assault of 4 women by a politician, as a result of which he resigned.

The author of the article even clearly stipulated what it was all about, viz. what has happened , who will take over the role , and what impact this will have on the pending investigations, especially those concerning Mr. Trump.

Even a school teacher could not have asked these questions more clearly, but your mutual hatred for each other is far to big that your logic thinking is completely "verschwunden"...

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx7 months ago

2.- What will happen Mid November. Certainly no one can predict this. But certainly there must be rumors being spread in political circles.
This will of course depend largely on the relationship between Mrs. Barbara Underwood and the POTUS. But also from the relationship between other candidates and Fuhrer TRUMPF... However, over such important matters, there must be a long of talking going on amongst politicians, reporters, etc.. I would have appreciated if you could have given an idea about all this.
I could possible take a very bad turn for POTUS TRUMPF after November 2018. But also a very good turn. There are barely 6 months between May 9th and Mid November 2018. Deduct at least 4 weeks holidays, and she has barely time enough to study the files. And it could effectively be better to divide the cases amongst 2 or 3 persons, so that each file can be meticulously investigated. Enough time has already been lost, but I understand that when you have 20 or more complex files in front of you, and you want to be 100 % sure that NO mistakes are made, you need an awful lot of time....

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx7 months ago

There is like a very contagious disease raging in the U.S.A. !! It started years ago - even before the elections - and it still continues. You need a secretary to keep a register of all the perpetrators, all the victims, etc... Michelle and Tanya allege having had physical relationship with Schneiderman. Then how comes he beat and slapped and chocked them IN bed ?? Or does a physical relationship also ALWAYS includes a sexual relationship ?? And he did it mostly after drinking. Of course ! Ask Dr. Phil : Every woman knows that most men become violent after drinking (and not soda, but alcohol -:) But Schneidermann says it was consensual "rol playing" Apart from sexual intercourse, what "roles" can you play in bed ? Hide and seek ?? Rather difficult seen the limited space... Luckily I don't have to answer this question !
And then the article silently stops giving more info. What about the other 2 women ? There were 4. Even if you can not reveal their names, we would like to know what the issues are ??
The investigations related to Mr. Trump : could you may be tell us what they are about. I remember a few of them, but it would have been much better just to enumerate them... .../2

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Lesa D
Lesa D7 months ago

thank you Robin...

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Just H
Just Human7 months ago

Later Eric. Much.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie7 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie7 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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