Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of the New Yorker quietly assembled unassailable facts, charging New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with sexual violence based on corroborated statements of four victims. The New Yorker published the story Monday evening. Before the clock struck midnight, Schneiderman resigned his post after Governor Andrew Cuomo demanded him to quit.
The Schneiderman takedown was remarkable for a number of reasons.
—His Office led the fight to bring Harvey Weinstein to justice and was a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement. He was investigating Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance, Jr., for pulling his punches in his Weinstein investigation. Vance is returning the favor by opening a criminal investigation on Schneiderman.
—Along with other Blue State AGs, he was positioning his office to challenge the Trump regime by challenging action that disproportionately affected New York.
—He was a fierce critic of Trumpism and marshaled the resources of his Department against its agenda.
—His office went after Trump University, based on the complaints of former students, and settled the suit for $25 million.
—His office spearheaded challenges to federal environmental rollbacks by notorious Scott Pruitt.
What stands out most is that the movement to end sexual predation and violence against women is taking down its alleged male allies. Progressive politicians aligned with the movement squirmed when Al Franken’s number was pulled, albeit for violations less serious or well-supported than the brief against Schneiderman.
Democrats who agonized over Franken’s loss in the U.S. Senate did not skip a beat over Schneiderman’s fall. Sure, the acts are lurid, and the charges look solid. Still, progressives must force resignations of their miscreants or face rancor within their own ranks. The swiftness of his ouster may have been accelerated by vote-counting in the New York legislature, where Democratic control likely will replace the outgoing AG with a like-minded successor.