Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, Is Accused of Abusing 4 Women


“My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as attorney general,” Mr. Cuomo said.

The call was echoed by Sonia Ossorio, the president of the New York arm of the National Organization for Women, which endorsed Mr. Schneiderman in both his 2010 and 2014 campaigns.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” she said. “He can no longer serve. He must step down immediately.”

Mr. Schneiderman, the chief law enforcement officer of the state, who was widely seen as harboring ambitions to be governor himself one day, is up for re-election this year. No Democrats have declared an intention to challenge him in the primary; Manny Alicandro, a corporate lawyer from New York City, is running as a Republican and officially declared his candidacy on Monday.

If Mr. Schneiderman does not resign, the Democratic-controlled Assembly could vote to impeach him. A trial would then be held in the Republican-controlled Senate, which would be joined by judges from the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. A two-thirds vote would be required to remove him.

Mr. Schneiderman had been previously outspoken about women’s issues, announcing, for instance, a lawsuit against the company once run by the former filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, who was accused of decades of sexual misconduct. “We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen right here,” Mr. Schneiderman said then.

Since 2017, Mr. Schneiderman had also raised his profile nationally by taking on President Trump’s agenda repeatedly in the courts. He is pushing to change state law so that his office could prosecute Mr. Trump’s aides even if the president pardoned them.

Ms. Manning Barish, in The New Yorker account, described being slapped by Mr. Schneiderman after they had both been drinking; she and Ms. Selvaratnam said several of the attacks occurred after alcohol had been consumed.

“It was horrendous,” she said. “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 fiber, I felt I was being beaten by a man.”

Debra S. Katz, a lawyer for Ms. Manning Barish, said that it was Mr. Schneiderman’s “fantasy and his fantasy alone that the behavior was welcome.”

Mr. Schneiderman, she continued, “has made a career railing against this type of abuse. Yet apparently he intends to revictimize these courageous women who have come forward by pulling out that age old sexist trope that they wanted it.”

Both Ms. Manning Barish and Ms. Selvaratnam have in recent days repeatedly declined to comment when reporters for The Times asked them to address the allegations.

“After I found out that other women had been abused by Attorney General Schneiderman in a similar manner many years before me, I wondered, who’s next, and knew something needed to be done,” Ms. Selvaratnam said in a statement released Monday night. “So I chose to come forward both to protect women who might enter into a relationship with him in the future but also to raise awareness around the issue of intimate partner violence.”

Ms. Manning Barish also followed the article’s publication with a post on Twitter, saying that she “could not remain silent and encourage other women to be brave for me.”

A former wife of Mr. Schneiderman’s was taken aback by the allegations being leveled against him.

“I’ve known Eric for nearly 35 years as a husband, father and friend,” said Jennifer Cunningham, his ex-wife and frequent political strategist. “These allegations are completely inconsistent with the man I know, who has always been someone of the highest character, outstanding values and a loving father.”

Mr. Schneiderman has long been regarded as one of the state’s most progressive politicians, even before his 2013 lawsuit against Trump University and his subsequent suits against the Trump administration made him the darling of the political left. Last fall, Mr. Schneiderman’s office proudly pointed to a segment on the late-night comedy show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” in which the attorney general was described as “a hero who stood up to democracy’s nemesis,” a Superman-like character known as Schneider-man.

His credentials as an advocate for women, in particular, had gone unquestioned.

In 2010, as a state senator from Manhattan, he introduced a bill to make intentional strangulation to the point of unconsciousness a violent felony. That same year, the National Organization for Women’s New York branch endorsed him in his successful bid for attorney general, citing his “unmatched work” in “protecting women who are victims of domestic abuse.”

For several years, his office has published a “Know Your Rights” brochure for victims of domestic violence. “We must recognize that our work keeping New Yorkers safe from domestic violence is far from over,” Mr. Schneiderman said in the announcement for the 2016 brochure.

At the direction of Governor Cuomo, he is currently reviewing the 2015 decision by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., not to prosecute Mr. Weinstein after an Italian model accused him of groping her.

Some national Republicans were gleeful at the allegations. The Republican research shop America Rising quickly packaged Mr. Schneiderman’s ties to other prominent national Democrats.

And on Monday evening, Mr. Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., dug up an old tweet from Mr. Schneiderman in which he said “No one is above the law” and tweeted at him, “You were saying???”

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