Cuomo announces special prosecutor to probe Schneiderman allegations

Cuomo announces special prosecutor to probe Schneiderman allegations
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate abuse allegations against former state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D).

Schneiderman officially stepped down Tuesday evening, roughly 24 hours after The New Yorker reported on allegations from multiple women accusing him of physical abuse and trying to use his position to intimidate them into silence.

Cuomo has designated Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas as the special prosecutor and special deputy attorney general to look into the claims, he announced in a letter Tuesday to Singas and the state's Solicitor General, Barbara Underwood, who is serving as acting attorney general.

The governor said Singas should "investigate, and if warranted, prosecute, any and all matters concerning the public allegations against Mr. Schneiderman, as reflected in the New Yorker article."

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"In addition to investigating the specific allegations outlined against Schneiderman in the article, the Special Prosecutor shall investigate facts in the article suggesting that the Attorney General staff and office resources may have been used to facilitate alleged abusive liaisons referenced in the article," Cuomo wrote.

Cuomo called for a "complete and unbiased investigation" into the claims, which include allegations that Schneiderman threatened to kill at least two of the women if they broke up with him.

"There can be no suggestion of any possibility of the reality or appearance of any conflict or anything less than a full, complete and unbiased investigation. The victims deserve nothing less," the governor wrote.

Schneiderman announced his resignation in a statement Monday night, just hours after The New Yorker report surfaced, but noted that he "strongly contest[s]" the allegations against him.

“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” he said. “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.”

Schneiderman's profile had risen in recent years, with the Democratic attorney general leading various state lawsuits against the Trump administration and railing against President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE on a slew of issues, including net neutrality and presidential pardons.