This looks incriminating. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is going to have a hared time explaining this.
A week after receiving a $25,000 campaign donation from the law firm of Harvey Weinstein’s attorney, Cuomo called on the state’s attorney general to suspend the investigation into Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s handling of 2015 sexual misconduct claims against the disgraced film mogul.
As written and reported by Andrew O’Reilly, Fox News:
The law firm of Boies Schiller & Flexner donated the $25,000 back in June, shortly before Cuomo sent a letter to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood directing her to suspend the Vance investigation.
The firm is headed by David Boies, a prominent New York attorney, who represented both Weinstein and The New York Times while the paper was investigating the film industry heavyweight.
Boies’ firm also denied any connection between the donation and Cuomo’s suspension of the investigation.
“Neither Mr. Boies, nor anyone from his firm, ever discussed Harvey Weinstein or Mr. Vance with Mr. Cuomo, or anyone from his office, at any time,” a spokesperson for Boies Schiller & Flexner said in an emailed statement to Capital & Main, which first reported on the donations. “Mr. Boies is a longtime supporter of Mr. Cuomo and his contribution in June was consistent with his contributions to Mr. Cuomo over years past.”
Since 2009, Boies and his law firm have donated almost $250,000 to Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns.
The investigation into Vance dates back to March 2015, when the Manhattan district attorney declined to prosecute Weinstein after Italian model Ambra Battilana accused the mogul of groping her. Vance said at the time that his office did not have enough evidence to prosecute Weinstein, despite an audio tape on which the producer appeared to apologize for inappropriate actions.
“Our best lawyers looked at the case,” Vance said, according to The Times. “I, like they, was very disturbed by the contents of the tape. It’s obviously sickening. But at the end of the day, we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion, and our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case.”
In August 2015, Vance’s campaign received a $10,000 donation from Boies as the DA was running for his third term in office.
The Weinstein case lay dormant for over two years until The Times and The New Yorker magazine published explosive stories detailing allegations against Weinstein and asserting that the Manhattan DA’s office had botched the handling of the 2015 accusations.
The New Yorker also reported that in July 2017, working as Weinstein’s longtime attorney, Boies signed a contract hiring a business intelligence firm called Black Cube to spy on Weinstein’s accusers and “stop the publication of a negative article in a leading NY newspaper.” These revelations led The Times to end its relationship with Boies’ law firm.
In a lengthy statement in November of that year, Boies said that Weinstein was no longer his client, and noted that he “would never knowingly participate in an effort to intimidate or silence women or anyone else.”
Boies has also denied having a role in recruiting or directing Black Cube to spy on Weinstein’s accusers, saying he’d only become involved in the contract with the firm due to a “billing dispute.”
Continue reading here.