Hubris, hypocrisy and (former) NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

What really separates the Eric Schneiderman #MeToo scandal from the rest of them is the truly astounding hypocrisy of...

Posted: May 9, 2018 9:13 AM
Updated: May 9, 2018 9:13 AM

What really separates the Eric Schneiderman #MeToo scandal from the rest of them is the truly astounding hypocrisy of it all.

Given what we've learned from reporting about the Democratic attorney general in The New Yorker, that's not even a very subjective statement.

That the man taking the lead in prosecuting a civil case against Harvey Weinstein would himself stand accused of abusing women is... well... unbelievable.

Schneiderman may now face prosecution himself, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The fact that women Schneiderman is accused of striking felt he would use his office -- the same office he pledged to use against Weinstein and President Donald Trump -- against them takes the hypocrisy to disturbing levels.

Indeed, the picture of the hard-charging lawman standing up for women does not square with the secretly abusive and controlling boyfriend described in the magazine.

This passage from The New Yorker, in which Schneiderman's former girlfriend Michelle Manning Barish discusses him, paints a picture of a man with power who is not afraid to use it.

Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow write in the magazine:

Since the #MeToo movement began, Manning Barish has been active on social-media platforms, cheering on women who have spoken out, including those whose accusations prompted the resignation of the Minnesota senator Al Franken, a widely admired Democrat. Once, she made an oblique reference to Schneiderman on social media, in connection with a political issue. He called her and, in a tone that she describes as "nasty," said, "Don't ever write about me. You don't want to do that." Manning Barish says that she took his remarks as a threat, just as she took seriously a comment that he'd once made after she objected to him "yanking" her across a street. She recalls saying to him, "Jaywalking is against the law," and him responding, "I am the law." Manning Barish says, "If there is a sentence that sums him up, it's that."

The passage suggests a number of very disturbing things, including that Schneiderman knew he had something to hide. He was pursuing Weinstein and putting Trump on notice all while he knew there were abuse allegations against him. It also suggests that Schneiderman felt his own position was so important that he might be willing to use it to keep his accusers quiet. That's what makes his sudden downfall so incredible to so many people.

The prosecutor with something to hide is something out of a pulpy crime novel. The prosecutor with this to hide at this time in US history is enough to be nauseating even though Schneiderman resigned from his office within hours of the report posting. Read Chris Cillizza's pieceTuesday on the difference between politicians who resign quickly and those who hang on after reports of alleged abuse, from President Donald Trump and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to former President Bill Clinton.

The difference between someone like Trump and someone like Schneiderman is that Trump as publicly identified with men even as the #MeToo movement uncovers the difficulties women have faced.

When staff secretary Rob Porter and speechwriter David Sorenson were both forced out of the White House following accusations of domestic abuse, Trump questioned the allegations.

"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," Trump tweeted. "Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"

Last November, when multiple women said Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore had tried to seduce them as young women, Trump sided with Moore, pointing out that the candidate denied the allegations.

"He says it didn't happen," the President told reporters. "You have to listen to him, also."

Give Trump points for consistency. Schneiderman was using his office to try to go after rape suspect Harvey Weinstein while privately telling women he'd allegedly abused that he'd use his office against them. That's a special brand of hubris.

Republicans have quickly pointed out this hypocrisy, and rightly so. Of course, one enormous difference is that Moore stayed in that Senate fight. The White House was trying to make him a senator even after the allegations about his history with young women came out.

That's not unlike Trump going after former Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, who resigned his seat after allegations of unwanted and forcible kissing by multiple women.

He believed the accusers against Franken, his political rival, in other words, but wanted to believe Moore, his political ally. Politics should probably not even feature in this debate, but the evidence now is that politics can feed it.

There's hypocrisy. There's hubris. And then there's this.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604758

Reported Deaths: 7648
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1250271781
Ramsey52525898
Dakota46864471
Anoka42797458
Washington27437291
Stearns22563225
St. Louis18145314
Scott17554138
Wright16385149
Olmsted13406102
Sherburne1202895
Carver1067648
Clay826592
Rice8207110
Blue Earth762944
Crow Wing681995
Kandiyohi668485
Chisago620752
Otter Tail586484
Benton583098
Goodhue484074
Douglas475881
Mower470533
Winona461452
Itasca460263
Isanti440364
McLeod431261
Morrison424862
Beltrami408062
Nobles407850
Steele397817
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363953
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown308040
Le Sueur297426
Cass286532
Todd285733
Meeker263643
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182846
Redwood176639
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault155319
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146710
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine115020
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95618
Stevens92511
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned47793
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Traverse3775
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Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 371318

Reported Deaths: 6059
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58281641
Linn21248339
Scott20311248
Black Hawk16200312
Woodbury15240230
Johnson1462685
Dubuque13517211
Dallas1129399
Pottawattamie11233174
Story1071948
Warren584091
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554297
Sioux517774
Webster516594
Muscatine4883106
Marshall488076
Des Moines468172
Wapello4340122
Buena Vista427140
Jasper421273
Plymouth403281
Lee382557
Marion366176
Jones301157
Henry294937
Bremer288861
Carroll287052
Boone268534
Crawford268440
Benton260455
Washington257251
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212371
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198935
Page194522
Buchanan194233
Cedar192323
Hardin187444
Fayette187143
Wright186140
Hamilton182051
Harrison180073
Clayton171257
Butler166535
Madison164619
Mills163924
Floyd163542
Cherokee159438
Lyon159241
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149924
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138813
Grundy137533
Emmet135741
Jefferson133435
Shelby131837
Sac130920
Union130135
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126743
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard105122
Montgomery103638
Clarke101124
Keokuk97032
Monroe96431
Unassigned9570
Ida91635
Adair87532
Pocahontas85822
Davis85325
Monona83631
Osceola78917
Greene78111
Lucas77923
Worth7628
Taylor66812
Fremont6279
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56418
Wayne54423
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