As Attorney General of the State of New York, Eric Schneiderman has posed as a liberal crusader. Among many other things, he has accused Exxon Mobil of committing securities fraud in connection with “climate change,” filed a civil suit accusing Trump University of fraud, and initiated more than 50 lawsuits seeking to block Trump administration environmental regulations.
Schnedierman has also endorsed the #MeToo campaign and has gone after Harvey Weinstein. So I confess to being gratified by the fact that four women have accused Schneiderman of assault. The New Yorker broke the story:
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.” … 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.
A third former romantic partner of Schneiderman’s told Manning Barish and Selvaratnam that he also repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence, but she told them that she is too frightened of him to come forward. (The New Yorker has independently vetted the accounts that they gave of her allegations.) A fourth woman, an attorney who has held prominent positions in the New York legal community, says that Schneiderman made an advance toward her; when she rebuffed him, he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day.
Schneiderman’s defense, apparently, is that these incidents involved “role playing.” Maybe he was playing the role of a psychopath. One of the four women gave this account, stressing that at the time of the assault, she was fully clothed:
“All of a sudden, he just slapped me, open-handed and with great force, across the face, landing the blow directly onto my ear,” Manning Barish says. “It was horrendous. It just came out of nowhere. My ear was ringing. I lost my balance and fell backward onto the bed. I sprang up, but at this point there was very little room between the bed and him. I got up to try to shove him back, or take a swing, and he pushed me back down. He then used his body weight to hold me down, and he began to choke me. The choking was very hard. It was really bad. I kicked. In every fibre, I felt I was being beaten by a man.”
She finally freed herself and got back on her feet. “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.”
“Hitting an officer of the law is a felony.” Spoken like a true liberal! Or like a sociopath. Still, one thing you can say in Schneiderman’s defense: he has accomplished the difficult feat of making his predecessor as Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer (client #9), look good.
PAUL ADDS: In 2013, Donald Trump tweeted:
Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone – next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.
Trump may have heard some things.