New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns Due to Sexual Assault Allegations, After Getting Away With Selling Out Homeowners

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Of course, screwing over homeowners isn’t a crime with wealthy progressives, they’ll only get him on sexual assault.

Reader reaction to Schneiderman resignation

I must confess to a bit of schadenfreude in seeing Eric Schneiderman quit. He’s finally getting the level of press coverage he always wanted.

You can read the underlying allegations that led to his world-record speedy resignation in the New Yorker. Four women accused him of sexual violence, such as being hit and choked by him. Two were willing to have their names published. One had a photo of the alleged damage done by him.

Schneiderman tried the story that the women had been willing participants to the abuses. :

All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked…

In a statement, Schneiderman said, “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 nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

As one wag said via e-mail, when the resignation was announced, “So much for role playing, it only took as long as someone reading through the article.”

Schneiderman was singularly responsible for the Obama Administration’s success in executing what has not been sufficiently well recognized as a second bailout to banks, in the form of the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement in which 49 states also participated. We called the “get out of liability for almost free card” for banks otherwise known as the National Mortgage Settlement. Federal and state officials had massive leverage over bank servicers to force them to do mortgage modifications for borrowers who still had some level of income. It would not only have been better for homeowners and communities, but it would have greatly reduced investor losses.

Schneiderman threatened me through Democratic party intermediaries as I wrote about how terrible the National Mortgage Settlement was and how the Administration had played him for a fool: “I’m going to get her.” I didn’t feel concerned because Schneiderman had been so ineffective as a prosecutor.

But as for many in the large group activists who had been collaborating to document and publicize foreclosure abuses and failures to convey mortgages to securitization trust (this was the liability bomb that could have brought the US banking system to its knees), Schneiderman’s betrayal felt like a punch in the gut. My personal therapy was to take a beaten-up cat toy, a small stuffed black spider, tape Schneiderman’s photo to it, and stick pins in it when I got upset about how Schneiderman had sold out homeowners on a mass basis.

The Administration had been kinda-sorta working on a settlement in 2011. 14 state attorneys general had been working on their own, tougher settlement, and more Democratic attorneys general were considering joining. Schneiderman not only sold out the effort by abandoning it, he didn’t even secure a good deal for himself. The Administration seemed to go out of its way to humiliate him. Schneiderman announced that there would be “hundreds” of people working on it. The Department of Justice’s Lanny Breuer contradicted him and said it would be only 55. That was the number of people already deployed on existing going-nowhere Federal mortgage fraud efforts that would be consolidated into the new task force.

And the piece de resistance? Schneiderman wasn’t even given an office or working phone for months.

Moreover, it should have been obvious that one motive for Schneiderman to join this task force was as a cover for not manning up and prosecuting. As we wrote when the scheme was announced:

It’s clear what the Administration is getting from getting Schneiderman aligned with them. It is much less clear why Schneiderman is signing up. He can investigate and prosecute NOW. He has subpoena powers, staff, and the Martin Act. He doesn’t need to join a Federal committee to get permission to do his job. And this is true for ALL the others agencies represented on this committee. They have investigative and enforcement powers they have chosen not to use. So we are supposed to believe that a group, ex Schneiderman, that has been remarkably complacent, will suddenly get religion on the mortgage front because they are all in a room and Schneiderman is a co-chair?

Even though Schneiderman had amassed solid progressive credentials as a state senator, beating party efforts to squash him by redistricting him so that his formerly Jewish, well educated Upper West Side voter base was Hispanic (Schneiderman learned Spanish) and getting a strong anti-corruption bill passed despite considerable obstacles, he managed to get himself promoted to his level of incompetence by winning the attorney general seat. Going from state senator to state attorney general is a big jump in responsibility. Schneiderman had never been a prosecutor, never even been a litigator. Reports from his office were that he’d dither on case development and was hesitant to pull the trigger.

By contrast, consider how much a real former prosecutor, Benjamin Lawsky, accomplished from the far less powerful office of the newly-formed New York State Department of Financial Services. He showed up the Treasury and other Federal bank regulators on money laundering by Standard Chartered, taking the unheard-of step of threatening to remove its New York banking license. That would have shut down its critically important as well as lucrative dollar clearing operations. For that case alone, he extracted a $340 million settlement for New York taxpayers. And imitation being the highest form of flattery, Lawsky can deservedly pat himself on the back for Federal regulators emulating his bloody-minded approach on later money-laundering settlements and extracting vastly larger penalties than they had previously sought. After his initial successes, he also sought and got resignations of senior bank officials. He also pursued mortgage services, and among other things, got the CEO of Ocwen to step down, and even fined supposedly too blue chip to touch bank fixer “shadow regulator” Promontory Group and extracted a settlement from top white shoe law firm Sullivan & Cromwell for providing bogus information to his office.

Even Eric Schneiderman’s downfall is lamer than Eliot Spitzer’s.

— Yves Smith (@yvessmith)

Hopefully, New York will get a tough-minded attorney general who is willing to pursue important cases and knows how to use the Martin Act. We’re sorely in need of someone like that.

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66 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    I have come across Eric Schneiderman’s name more than a few times on NC and usually not in a good way. For my comment, I would suggest readers punch the name “Eric Schneiderman” into the Search box on this page and look at the stories that come back where he is mentioned. I think that the results that come back is comment enough.

    Reply
  2. dimmsdale

    I well remember Schneiderman’s betrayal of helpless mortgage-fraud victims, because I read about it here. I’ve applauded his progressive stances since, to the superficial degree that I know about them, but I never trusted him as far as I could spit. Thanks for your reporting, Yves; it’s just one of so many pivotal stories you’ve pursued when no one else would, and believe me, it makes a difference for readers like me.

    Reply
  3. skippy

    Why am I checking for blood coming out my eyes…. oh yeah… February 11th 2018

    “As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I was too nice and decided not to rub that in, since I had plenty of other material. One has to wonder if the women came forward because the spectacle of Schneiderman volunteering for the role of #MeToo’s knight in shining armor was too much for them to stomach. The New Yorker article pretty much says that.

      Reply
      1. skippy

        Oh I’m not trying to rub it in YS, nor do I think its inclusion was need to buttress your post, probably just the opposite. Its just the visceral reaction I had and place to put it less I have an aneurysm or worse.

        Per the women thingy. Persoanly I think there is a tremendous about of suppressed anger out there for multiple reasons. Seems this is the one focal point that is venting some of that stored potential.

        Reply
      2. rd

        Jane Mayer of the New Yorker pretty much confirmed that when interviewed on Morning Edition today:

        It seemed like it was the Rob Porter resignation that was the tipping point that gave the women the courage to step forward with a reasonable probability of success. It took a lot of courage given the NY AG’s power. The women didn’t know each other and yet had very similar stories, which was convincing to the reporter.

        It will be interesting to see if the legislature appoints a woman AG given the recent male NY AG scandals. I think NYS could use a different perspective.

        Reply
  4. Webstir

    “Hopefully, New York will get a tough-minded attorney general … .”

    Wouldn’t this mean an appointment by Cuomo? Color me skeptical.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The AG is an elected position. His term was set to expire this year. And see Kim Kaufman’s tweet below, it’s the legislature who will appoint the placeholder. Odds are good they just elevate the deputy AG.

      Cuomo and Schneiderman hated each other. That’s a big reason Cuomo appointed Lawsky to the newly-created Department of Financial Services, to show Schneiderman up, which he did very well from what by all accounts was a not very powerful regulatory office.

      Reply
      1. none

        Is the Deputy AG / placeholder-in-waiting any good? Are there any potentially good AG candidates on deck for the election?

        Reply
      2. Webstir

        Nice. Thank you Yves.
        I’m a few steps too many removed from NY politics out here in ol’ Idaho.

        Reply
      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Do you know if Cuomo or some other people knew or heard a little about this years or months earlier?

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Cuomo hates Scheiderman, so no way would he have protected him. And if you read the story, the women he assaulted talked to very few people before going to the press, all close to them, and they were afraid of him getting revenge on them. So the friends presumably would have been very careful re who if anyone they talked to.

          Having said that, his drinking would have been more noticeable and there may have been rumors like that. But a lot of people who are powerful have borderline or actual substance abuse issues and get away with it.

          Reply
  5. Kim Kaufman

    Checking out the Twitters:

    If @AGSchneiderman were to resign — in the wake of staggering expose on multiple accusations of abuse of women — it would fall to the Legislature to pick a successor (before election in fall). See Art V, section 1 of NY Constitution: …

    Reply
    1. Dirk77

      Perhaps Teachout will run in the fall even if the legislature appoints someone else now. That would be fun.

      Reply
  6. albrt

    This is a sort of very rough justice.

    But does Obama ultimately get off the hook for the bank sellout murdering thousands of babies and other civilians in cold blood just because Obama apparently didn’t have assaultive sexual tendencies?

    I mean, I guess this is one way to limit the ranks of the predator class. But not if Trumpian levels of denial can get you a free pass. As a lawyer I am not sure I’m seeing a principled way forward out of this. But then, I guess that’s why I didn’t have kids.

    Reply
    1. John Wright

      In the USA, it seems that one must be convicted of an easily understood crime (murder, bank robbery, or some sort of sex crime) to suffer public disdain.

      GW Bush is in the process of having his reputation rehabilitated, despite the dead innocents he caused in the Middle East and the damage he did to America’s standing around the world.

      Oliver North could also claim “never convicted” due to immunity granted by congress and claim he was a patriot.

      Why even Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon are/were viewed as éminence grise’s despite considerable baggage.

      Obama got off the hook due to a well-managed image as I know liberals who continue to maintain that he was stopped by the Republicans from “doing the right thing”.

      Obama did what the elite wanted and in a way that the public didn’t notice as he gave good speeches.

      Obama is the anti-Theodore Roosevelt, “talk loudly and carry a small stick”.

      Reply
  7. Tomonthebeach

    Yves,

    We all talk incessantly about how the public gives Trump so much slack for his despicable behavior. Yet, our talk generally ignores the needless killing and suffering Bush triggered in the Middle East and the ensuing recession that created an historical loss of wealth for the average citizen. Even more incomprehensible is how the media have virtually ignored that Nobel Peace Prize prez Obama who left office having ordered a record number of assassinations as POTUS (Hello drone# 007) while orchestrating the biggest shift in wealth from the citizenry to Wall Street in our lifetime.

    Schadenfreude feels good, but why do we keep electing these heartless SOBs? What is wrong with us?

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I know. The behavior in the article is repellant, and with most of them (save the prominent lawyer he hit hard after telling her falsely he was taking her to an after-party), he got them emotionally invested in them before he started abusing them and he escalated over time. It’s hard to understand why they didn’t leave sooner (although the first one did right away and then was seduced back by him).

      But he seemed to have a real instinct for finding women who would be browbeaten into accepting his violence for a while, even though none had a history of being in an abusive relationship. I wonder how much was due to his status, that his prominence, being widely respected, attractive (I met him once, he struck me as a metrosexual, clearly a bit vain about his appearance and I suspected he worked at looking trim). and well educated was a meaningful factor in his being able to begin and keep abusing them. The article does make clear how much risk his victims felt in outing him: “‘What do you do if your abuser is the top law-enforcement official in the state?'”

      And notice the role of the alcohol and drugs. I wonder if that became a problem only comparatively recently…his ex wife went to bat for him to a degree that wasn’t necessary. Maybe when he was raising kids, he was able to contain his drinking.

      Reply
    2. Sid Finster

      “Schadenfreude feels good, but why do we keep electing these heartless SOBs? What is wrong with us?”

      Because the people who want the job are likely to be high-functioning sociopaths, and the people who *really* want the job are *very*likely to be high-functioning sociopaths.

      Power is to sociopaths what cocaine is to addicts.

      Reply
      1. rd

        Making the assumption that the percentage of psychopaths/sociopaths in politics is similar to the executive suites in companies, the percentage is likely to be somewhere between the 1% in the general population and 15% in prison:

        Reply
  8. Pavel

    Thanks in part to Yves’s excellent reporting here I knew this AG was a POS but I didn’t know all the other ways he was a POS as well.

    It is strange, the MSM and Dems vilified (with reason) Trump’s nasty and misogynistic comments about women but the alleged behaviour of Matt Lauer, Weinstein, Charlie Rose and now this seemingly sadistic AG is far far worse. Each case is creepier than the last. And Bill Clinton’s purported behaviour with women was just as vicious, and just as ignored and/or forgiven by “liberals”.

    But of course there are many Republicans who treat women just as badly. Perhaps these ambitious politicians or businessmen or media stars have a common sociopathology. It is most marked in the callous and evil way they continually drop bombs and poisons on innocent people thousands of miles away, in countries they couldn’t locate on a map, all the while professing belief in “God” and claiming to be for peace and justice.

    A pox on all their houses.

    Reply
  9. socializedmedicine

    It seems to me that neoliberals have a common thread of sociopathy. Their whole ideology is about dehumanizing people, and reducing human beings to numbers with no variety of behavior, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Reply
  10. timotheus

    If I recall correctly, Schneiderman was rewarded for dumping homeowners by getting a prominent seat next to Michelle O at the SOTU speech that year. Pols are such a cheap date sometimes.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You have a very good memory! I didn’t include that, but yes, it looked like Schneiderman sold out of that one night in the limelight. Didn’t get much of anything beyond that.

      Reply
  11. divadab

    Beside this goof Eliot Spitzer looks statesmanlike – I mean, he only diddled prostitutes, didn’t beat up any status-seeking amateurs. I make the same argument comparing Trump and Bill Clinton – so Trump diddled a prostitute – Clinton diddled a junior employee, an intern for G-d’s sake, in the office of the President.

    Yes prostitution is illegal but all the prohibition does is oppress women who want to make an independent living. Using your position to sexually exploit employees is an order of magnitude worse.

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      The one thing I remember most clearly from the Spitzer case is the fact that one of the escorts revealed that he didn’t take his socks off during activities. Never could understand why he didn’t stand up for himself and just admit that it was a stupid mistake. Times change.

      Reply
  12. Skip Intro

    It sounds like the allegations are of assault, rather than sexual assault, which is understood to be rape-like sexual violence.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I read the article only once, but at least one of the women reported he hit her pretty regularly during sex. The article describes his conduct as physical abuse, but he also appeared to demand more sex from the last woman profiled than she wanted to give him (up way too late for me to look up her name, she said she wished there was a way to turn in Schneiderman without having her name part of this, so I regard my laziness as having the benefit of respecting her wishes). It isn’t hard to infer that she was so afraid of him that he physically intimidated her into having sex when she didn’t want to. Is that sexual assault? It seems awfully close.

      Reply
      1. Skip Intro

        I would prefer if the term sexual assault was reserved for cases of non-consensual sex with violence or the threat of violence. A term of art, as it were. If the last of the women says she had sex because she was scared of violence, she was raped (= sexual assault victim). From my reading, that was not clear to me. I may still be over-sensitive due to the Franken debacle and the legally meaningless but prejudicial term ‘sexual misconduct’. Expanding definitions of sexual assault to include leering, mock groping, unwanted advances, etc. belittles the the suffering of rape victims, and exploits them to generate politically weaponized outrage for merely boorish behavior.
        Assault of a sex partner is could be labeled domestic violence.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Read the article. One of the stories was arguably sexual assault. He had his driver take an unnamed prominent lawyer to what was billed as an after-party. They started making out, but she got repelled by how demeaning he was and she tried pulling back. Here is the account:

          He became more sexually aggressive, but she was repulsed by his talk, and pulled away from him. She says that “suddenly—at least, in my mind’s eye—he drew back, and there was a moment where I was, like, ‘What’s happening?’ ” Then, she recalls, “He slapped me across the face hard, twice,” adding, “I was stunned.”

          Schneiderman hit her so hard, she says, that the blow left a red handprint. “What the fuck did you just do?” she screamed, and started to sob. “I couldn’t believe it,” she recalls. “For a split second, I was scared.” She notes that, in all her years of dating, she has never been in a situation like the one with Schneiderman. “He just really smacked me,” she says.

          You forget that men are bigger than women and unless a woman has been trained to be disinhibited about hurting someone who has gotten violent towards them (as in trained to gouge their eyes out or hit their larynx hard or crush their balls), a man can and will easily beat the shit out of a woman. As soon as a man gets violent, he has the upper hand with 99.99% of women. All it takes is once. And Schneiderman did it regularly with the women who didn’t run away.

          In other words, sex isn’t consensual once violence is part of the equation.

          Reply
  13. Summer

    “Of course, screwing over homeowners isn’t a crime with wealthy progressives, they’ll only get him on sexual assault…”

    Just like Martin Shkreli was convicted of defrauding investors, not the jacking up of prices for life saving medication. And he could really do neither without help or people looking the other way.

    Then in reference to the scams on mortgage owners:
    “It’s clear what the Administration is getting from getting Schneiderman aligned with them. It is much less clear why Schneiderman is signing up. He can investigate and prosecute NOW. He has subpoena powers, staff, and the Martin Act. He doesn’t need to join a Federal committee to get permission to do his job…”

    And recently we got to watch legislators grovel at the feet of Mark Zuckerberg…asking him if they should regulate Facebook.

    This is systemic and institutional rot (if it were ever ripe.)

    And, BTW, the Martin Act sounds like something on its way to be repealed, because this is how vile we live now. Most likely an act that would be repealed while the media covers something like…a tacky sex scandal.

    Reply
  14. David Carl Grimes

    Maybe the public just finds it easier to understand Schneiderman’s sexual assaults than his going soft on mortgage fraud that screws homeowners

    Reply
    1. Summer

      Think of all the screwed mortgage owners and all the people who know them. Add to that all the people interested in home buying and selling. Also, while the crises in 2008/2007 was massive, historically, there have always been “the screwed” in the hot potato, speculative mortgage game.
      And you still think people aren’t “interested” in all the ways they could be screwed?

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Violence comes in many forms, though we more often think of it as physical violence only.

      And so, when one shouts ‘economic injustice,’ that’s emotional violence,and it’s justified Abe be so angry.

      Here, sexual assaults are real and more graphic in description than mortgage crimes, whose victims suffer just as much, though in different ways. A good writer, reporter, documentary film maker, etc can find ways to present the not-as-visual issues.

      All these are different forms of violence.

      And as mentioned above, if we are not as keenly aware of some of those forms, we do well to, and in many situations, it’s good to be for violence (the emotional kind, i.e. angry and mad at corruption, for example).

      Reply
  15. Darius

    Schneiderman dropped off the face of the earth during Obama’s second term to the point that I couldn’t remember his name. All I could remember was the sellout New York AG. At least now he’s back in the papers. The greatest humiliation is getting shown up by Cuomo, who personifies the word scumbag. As Nelson says in the Simpsons, hah hah.

    Reply
  16. Gregory Etchason

    My question is the timing. WHY now have these women come forward? Someone in power other than these women have brought these facts to light.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      The timing is easy and is the second half of the first sentence of the New Yorker article: ”recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.“

      So that “someone in power” motivating women to speak up is Schneiderman himself.

      Reply
      1. flora

        Yes. These women reclaiming their own agency back after encouragement from the #MeToo movement and Schneiderman’s posturing isn’t too hard to understand.

        Reply
    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Why haven’t you read the underlying story? I linked to it. It makes it clear the women couldn’t stomach Schneiderman wrapping himself in the #MeToo flag and taking up the cause given his personal conduct. (he went very hard after Harvey Weinstein). It was deeply disturbing to them they thought it could facilitated more abuse.

      Reply
  17. oh

    Glad to see that Karma is catching up with some of these despicable people. I’m waiting for Cheney, Bush, Clinton, Lord O and others to get their just due.

    Reply
    1. nycTerrierist

      Same here.

      That Obama still sports a halo is particularly galling – collecting ob$cene checks 24/7 since he left office. Blood money for selling out the non-rich.

      Reply
      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, and his preening while a public park in Chicago is privatized and long-term residents driven out of the neighborhood where his post-dated bribe palace, er, presidential library is being built, is repulsive.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          His day of reckoning is coming. Note that article about the Milwaukee residents who didn’t vote in the last election. Link:

          And, closer to home, there’s my African American neighbor, Chuck. Don’t get him started on Obama’s presidency. Just don’t. The guy will go off like Kilauea and toss lava all over the place.

          Reply
    2. clarky90

      Hosea 10: 13

      “You have planted evil, harvested injustice, and eaten the fruit of your lies. You trusted your own strength and your powerful forces.”

      Reply
  18. johnnygl

    Let’s not forget his other comfy, cushy settlement agreement:

    His extra gentle consent decree with the NYC Board of elections after they purged as many as 200k voters from the voting rolls.

    I don’t bernie would have won the NY primary absent this chicanery, but that filthy bunch definitely shaved quite a few points off bernie’s vote totals and helped keep NY state’s voter turnout among the LOWEST in the nation.

    Schneiderman was very much in on the gig. It was a final parting gift to corrupt dem party hacks who never gave the guy anything back for his fealty. What a chump.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the film, Presumed Innocent, it turned out that the whole DA’s office and the judge were corrupt, and at the end, we find out that the wife did it, but Harrison Ford wasn’t going to go after one of his own.

      Reply
  19. tc10021

    Let’s watch how he gets treated by the media, DNC and women’s organizations. That may be a huge tell on how this abhorrent behavior is viewed by our highest leadership.

    Reply
  20. Pat

    I have to remind myself that birds of a feather Cuomo and Schneiderman hated each other not because they recognized that the other was despicable, but because they knew they were the same and therefore fighting over the same spoils, even if Cuomo was at the front of that parade.

    People have mocked me for saying I didn’t give a damn about Spitzer’s crimes and that he was targeted for actually trying to clean up the cesspool that is the financial industry in NY including their outside influence on our government. I still hold with that. But then I have long thought that prostitution should be legalized and highly regulated. Sexual trafficking, slavery, and the assault and murder of prostitutes is what makes me incensed. I

    Schneiderman should certainly go down for this abuse. It is just sad that his abuse of office protecting the powerful over the public is no where included.

    Reply
    1. Roquentin

      I think this is mostly accurate, but I lost all respect for Spitzer because he made going after prostitution a priority in his administration. The raging hypocrisy of it was too much to take. It was all in that Client 9 movie a while back. I really don’t care about paying for escorts, but the attempt to go after this same industry really is too much.

      That said, Cuomo is worse on nearly every front. The end result was a net loss for the state.

      Reply
      1. rd

        Larry Flynt of Hustler had a policy of going after moral hypocrites like David Vitter and Spitzer.

        “Asked if he and Flynt would expose sexual misconduct by a politician without such a record, Moldea said: “If someone hasn’t been shooting off his mouth, we’ll throw him back in the river.””

        I believe the sexual misconduct they were referring to was consensual sexual relations between adults. I don’t believe they considered non-consensual acts and violence acceptable.

        Reply
    2. Lord Koos

      I’m with you on Spitzer, I liked him for going after the fraudsters in spite of his poor judgement. And of course he was set up as well.

      Reply
  21. Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny

    “Schneiderman was singularly responsible for the Obama Administration’s success in executing what has not been sufficiently well recognized as a second bailout to banks, in the form of the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement in which 49 states also participated.”

    I disagree. While Schneiderman does not get a pass on his participation, and influence, in the de-bockle of the NMS to suggest it was solely his doing gives a pass to all the others that were involved (there were a lot of others involved – a lot).

    In fall 2011, after possible terms of the NMS had leaked, I spoke with my state AG and expressed how weak, tepid, and ineffective those terms were, failing completely in accountability of the misbehavors, and in the restitution and/or compensation for the victims. The response was “We’re trying to achieve a ‘global solution’ that puts forward good policy,” or similar words to that effect. I retorted “I’ve resided in this state the majority of my life and as far as I know the best policy is to enforce the rule of law.” Seven (7) years after and most in the AGs office, and some others in state gov’t, view me less as a citizen and more as the enemy.

    Be as hard on Schneiderman as you want to be. He is certainly deserving. But in your zeal be sure not to leave out the others.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You miss that New York State has the Martin Act, which means it can pursue cases no other state can.

      Moreover, New York also has a very well staffed AGs office…at a mere dozen staff attorneys. You have no idea how thin most AGs’ offices are. The AGs needed to collaborate to pool their resources. Schneiderman had made himself the linchpin. His dropping out was fatal. Him being willing to back the NMS was seen as an endorsement of that, and once he was willing to sign it, it was virtually impossible for them not to go along because the states were going to get some $ out of it. Not joining and not being able to get an independent deal was a political death sentence and arguable worse for homeowmers

      Also Obama bought off all sorts of housing groups in the deal (they got various payoffs, like $ for “mortgage counseling”) so not signing up also meant risking their opposition.

      The only state with a good sized AGs office, California, did negotiate a better deal than the Federal deal. This was one of Kamal Harris’ few bona fide achievements.

      Reply
      1. Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny

        The number of state AG signatories to the NMS, 49, is indisputable. Respectfully I still disagree.

        Reply
  22. Louis Fyne

    “progressives” like Schneiderman were the 2009-2015 manure that the seeds of Trumpism took root.

    just sayin. Team Dem needs to fix their own house before throwing stones at the GOP

    look over their it’s #resistance

    Reply
  23. Kim Kaufman

    Update:

    Zephyr Teachout
    ‏Verified account @ZephyrTeachout

    I am seriously considering running for Attorney General. It is a major decision & will take real thought. For today, I’m grateful for the women who dared speak up against one of the most powerful men in the US & for Barbara Underwood, the brilliant woman who will be acting NY AG.
    10:05 AM – 8 May 2018

    there is a thread with more info…

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      That could be fun. NY AG can do real damage if they’re willing to try.

      On the thread, the centrist-dem hate just pours out for anyone who’s associated with Bernie even a little bit.

      Reply
  24. ChrisPacific

    I couldn’t finish reading the New Yorker story, the behavior described was so bad. If even half of it is true, it should be the end of his career. (My bet would be that considerably more than half is true, given the consistency of the various accounts, the cross checking, and the extent to which he has already admitted to some of the behaviour). We need to stop tolerating and excusing this kind of behavior from powerful males in our society, for its own sake first and foremost, but also because this kind of person is very often more interested in amassing personal power than doing the job they are supposed to be doing (look no further than NC’s past posts on Schneiderman for evidence in this case).

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  25. Altandmain

    It would be amazing if Zephyr Teachout won the AG position and Andrew Cuomo lost to Cynthia Nixon.

    It’s sad that Eric Schneiderman got away for so long with so much dirt. What sunk him was not selling out the people of New York, but ultimately this string of sexual assault allegations. In truth Eric should have been removed many years ago. It says a lot about the US and not in a good way.

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  26. Attila the Hun

    A person who assaults women is a degenerate and a psychopath, irrespective of their social, economic or occupational position. They should be punished to the full extent the law allows. This type of behavior obviously cuts across all class lines as born out by thousands of instances of abuse reported to the police daily. Police officers responding to these complaints frequently become victims of the abusers as well when they respond to 911 calls for assistance. I don’t care if the perpetrator drives a garbage truck or is the Attorney General of New York State, apply the law to the fullest extent allowed. Make examples of all of them.

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