Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.’s office has opened an investigation into New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after four women accused him of physical abuse.
“Our office has opened an investigation into the recently reported allegations concerning Mr. Schneiderman,” DA spokesman Danny Frost confirmed to Politico in an email.
The New York Post reported “the highest possible charge would likely be misdemeanor assault,” but “the choking allegations could result in a separate felony charge.”
Schneiderman, a Democrat, resigned Monday night after The New Yorker published allegations the attorney general had physically assaulted four women, including slapping and choking. Schneiderman denied assaulting women, but admitted to “role-playing and other consensual sexual activity.”
Ironically, Schneiderman had been investigating how Vance’s office handled its investigation into allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Schneiderman not only billed himself as a champion for women’s rights and the #MeToo movement, but also a sworn enemy of the Trump administration.
Schneiderman challenged the Trump administration in court, especially repealing environmental policies. Most recently, Schneiderman sued the Trump administration for delaying Obama-era fuel efficiency regulations.
Before that, Schneiderman took the torch from environmental activists and led a nationwide legal battle against ExxonMobil for allegedly covering up global warming science to investors and the public.
With support from environmentalists, Schneiderman and several other state attorneys general have been locked in a multi-year legal battle with Exxon, trying to compel the company to turn over documents, including communications with conservative groups and experts.
“Financial damages alone may be insufficient,” Schneiderman said at event announcing the legal effort in early 2016. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”
Now, Schneiderman is facing investigations into his conduct. Two of Schneiderman’s accusers, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, told The New Yorker “he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent.”
Another accuser told The New Yorker that “when she rebuffed [Schneiderman], he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day.”