Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the New York Attorney General’s Office to halt an investigation into the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, shortly after a law firm for the movie mogul donated $25,000 to his campaign.
In June, Cuomo’s office sent a letter to AG Barbara Underwood demanding a temporary halt to the probe into whether or not Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. mishandled claims against Weinstein in 2015.
As Buzzfeed notes, Cuomo’s office made a big public pronouncement of the initial review into Weinstein’s case, but suspending that effort was kept quiet.
Why? Perhaps this is why …
David Sirota, a reporter for Capital & Main, did some digging and found that during that same month, Cuomo received a $25,000 campaign contribution from Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies.
BREAKING: NY Gov. Cuomo suspended Weinstein sexual assault investigation just as he raked in $25,000 from Weinstein’s longtime law firm https://t.co/hevKEmzeTs
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 29, 2018
“Cuomo’s June order (to suspend the probe) came in the same month that Boies, Schiller & Flexner gave $25,000 to Cuomo’s reelection campaign, according to New York campaign finance records,” Sirota reported.
A spokesperson for the law firm said the contribution was nothing out of the ordinary as “Mr. Boies is a longtime supporter of Mr. Cuomo.”
“In all, Boies and his law firm have given Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns more than $245,000 since 2009,” Sirota wrote.
Any appearance of impropriety is merely coincidental according to the Governor’s office.
“The Governor directed the Attorney General to investigate the Manhattan DA’s Office, it should not interfere with the DA’s ongoing criminal case,” Cuomo’s press secretary said in a statement.
“Given the recent indictment and prosecution of Harvey Weinstein by the District Attorney, the Attorney General’s investigation has been postponed for six months.”
— Albert Samaha (@AlbertSamaha) August 29, 2018
Buzzfeed however, points out that court proceedings could drag on for months or even years, “suggesting the suspension could be extended indefinitely.”
When announcing the initial investigation months earlier, Cuomo said: “It is of great concern that sexual assault cases have not been pursued with full vigor by our criminal justice system.”
“It is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases,” he added.
That attention became far less critical after the lawyer for someone being investigated handed Cuomo thousands of dollars in cash.
Read more at the Political Insider