Harvey Weinstein was a catalyst for the resurgence of the #MeToo movement, especially after questions began to emerge about irregularities at the office of the DA investigating him. Now another chapter in the sordid story has begun: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, currently facing an embattled primary, mysteriously put a pause on the state attorney general’s investigation into the Manhattan DA’s handling of the case.
Or maybe not so mysteriously. Shortly before he made the decision, Cuomo’s campaign received a $25,000 donation from the firm of David Boies, an attorney historically linked with Weinstein.
This situation started in 2015, when Boies donated to the campaign of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., the man charged with investigating Weinstein. Ultimately, the DA decided not to prosecute a 2015 sexual assault case, despite the fact that there was considerable evidence available – including audio from a wire worn by the victim — certainly enough, some felt, to bring the case to trial and give a jury a chance to hear it. After public outcry, Vance opted to move forward with charges.
But legal advocacy group Time’s Up called for closer scrutiny of the circumstances of this case, given the mounting allegations against Weinstein. In response, Cuomo directed the state attorney general to investigate, with the aim of determining whether something improper happened. Along the way, the state’s attorney general was forced to resign because of intimate partner violence allegations, and the current attorney general, Barbara Underwood, was put on the case.
In June, Cuomo opted to put a hold on the investigation for six months, though the news only just broke. Spokespeople for his office said this shouldn’t affect the Manhattan district attorney’s ability to continue looking into the Weinstein case — and could actually even help the DA’s office maintain an impartial investigation.