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Officials react as AG Schneiderman resigns amid claims of violence, assault

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who had taken on high-profile roles as an advocate for women’s issues and an antagonist to the policies of President Donald Trump, announced late Monday that he would be resigning from office hours after four women he was romantically involved with accused him of physical violence in accounts published by The New Yorker.

Schneiderman, who had been running for re-election, said he contested the women’s accounts, but “while these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.” He said he would resign at the close of business on Tuesday.

Two women had spoken to The New Yorker on the record, saying Schneiderman repeatedly hit them during the course of their relationships with him in recent years, and never with their consent. Neither woman filed any police complaints, but both said they sought out medical attention and confided in people close to them about the abuse.

A third woman who also was involved with him told her story to the other two women, but said she was too frightened to come forward. A fourth woman said Schneiderman slapped her when she rebuffed him, but also asked to remain unidentified. The New Yorker said it vetted the third woman’s allegations, and saw a photo of what the fourth woman said was her injury.

Read more from Syracuse.com

Schneiderman’s full-statement from the overnight hours after the allegations were made public:

“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York. In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reaction to the story, calling for Schneiderman’s resignation:

“The New Yorker has published an article on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which reports multiple women making serious allegations of assault. No one is above the law, including New York’s top legal officer. I will be asking an appropriate New York District Attorney to commence an immediate investigation, and proceed as the facts merit. My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as Attorney General, and for the good of the office, he should resign.”

Gubernatorial Candidate Cynthia Nixon called the actions of those women who came forward ‘courageous’ highlighting the need for change in New York:

“The descriptions by these brave women of the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are sickening. It is the right decision for him to resign immediately. The women who came forward so courageously to tell their stories and spared others from suffering are heroines. The investigation should continue. We need to get to the bottom of the enormous culture of silence that protects those in power. We must continue to work to end this national epidemic.”

Sen. Pam Helming responded with the following statement:

“The allegations against Eric Schneiderman are alarming. The people of New York State deserve answers, and these women deserve justice. No one is above the law. We must hold those who commit acts of violence and abuse accountable, especially when they are elected officials. Resignation is not enough. There needs to be a full, thorough investigation.”

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