New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ordered his attorney general’s office to stop the probe into the handling of the case against movie producer Harvey Weinstein after Weinstein’s law firm donated $25,000 to Cuomo’s reelection campaign, according to a report Wednesday.
The report, from Capital & Main, noted the outrage when it was revealed last year that Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies, had donated $10,000 to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. Ultimately, despite audio recordings proving Weinstein had groped at least one woman, Vance declined to prosecute the producer.
Cuomo instructed his attorney general — who was, at the time, Eric Schneiderman, who has since resigned after the surfacing of allegations of domestic abuse — to investigate Vance’s handling of the case. He has now halted that investigation.
BuzzFeed first reported on Tuesday that Cuomo had ordered the investigation to be paused, something the governor’s office confirmed in a statement to the outlet.
“As we said when the Governor directed the Attorney General to investigate the Manhattan DA’s Office, it should not interfere with the DA’s ongoing criminal case. Given the recent indictment and prosecution of Harvey Weinstein by the District Attorney, the Attorney General’s investigation has been postponed for six months,” said Dani Lever, Cuomo’s press secretary.
But, as BuzzFeed noted, the criminal case could likely drag on for years, meaning the investigation could be “paused” indefinitely.
According to Capital & Main, Boies and his law firm have given Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns more than $245,000 since 2009. Boies and Weinstein parted ways last year following a report that Boies had ordered surveillance on Weinstein’s victims to collect evidence that could be used against them.
Capital & Main’s report comes the same day as Cuomo is scheduled to debate his primary challenger, actress-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon. It is the sole debate scheduled for the gubernatorial primary, before voters head to the polls next Thursday, September 13.
Cuomo has consistently led Nixon by double digits in the polls. Nixon, meanwhile, has inspired significant grassroots energy and snagged activist endorsements from a number of Democratic Socialists of America chapters in New York as well as the national Indivisible group.
The midterm elections have also been marked by the #MeToo movement, as many candidates have shared their own #MeToo stories and promised to enact reforms should they be elected.