New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who made himself a voice for #MeToo victims, has been accused of abuse by four women.
Two of those four women agreed to go on the record and speak on the allegations against Schneiderman. “They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. [Michelle] Manning Barish and [Tanya] Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as ‘assault.'”
According to CBS News, Schneiderman responded to this statement saying, “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
Schneiderman admits that the allegations would make it impossible for him to continue in his job.
The women’s accusations, with their vivid detail and consistency, would put any man in a bad light, but they held even greater shock value because of how dramatically they contrast the image Schneiderman had cultivated for himself as a purported champion of women.
In the wake of his swift resignation, several incidents from the past have prompted critics to identify Schneiderman as the textbook definition of a hypocrite.
In January 2010, Schneiderman led the push to oust Hiram Monserrate, a fellow Democrat convicted of misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend. He did this as a New York State senator and served as the chair of a special committee that ultimately recommended to censure or expel Monserrate.
The final report noted, “The Select Committee finds that the nature and seriousness of Senator Monserrate’s conduct, as demonstrated by the surveillance video and the other unrebutted evidence outlined in this Report, showed a reckless disregard for Ms. Giraldo’s well-being and for the severity of her injury.”
In March 2010, Schneiderman — still a New York state senator — served as the lead sponsor for legislation that made “intentional strangulation and suffocation into unconsciousness a violent felony.”
Domestic violence victims stood by his side as he held an Albany, New York, news conference announcing his support for the bill. In the New Yorker investigation, two former girlfriends of Schneiderman’s allege that he himself choked them.
In October 2017, Schneiderman spoke out forcefully against President Trump and used his office to launch numerous legal challenges. Being involved in this foil would help Schneiderman’s politically profile. He tweeted, “No one is above the law, and I’ll continue to remind President Trump and his administration of that fact every day.”
The most recent incidence of his hypocrisy came last month, in April.
As reporters from the New York Times and the New Yorker shared the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their dogged reporting on Harvey Weinstein and the predations of other powerful men, Schneiderman chimed in on Twitter, lauding the award’s recipients and the “brave women” who spoke to them about the “sexual harassment they endured at the hands of powerful men.”
Indeed, if Schneiderman is found guilty of sexually assaulting the women who claim they were abused by him, then his indictment throws into question the candor of other male supporters of the #MeToo movement.