One year after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was embroiled in a scandal for accepting $10,000 from Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer after he declined to prosecute sexual assault charges, the same lawyer, David Boies, gave $25,000 to the campaign of New York Governor Andrew “America was never that great” Cuomo, according to state records reviewed by Capital & Main and Sludge.
While Vance in May opted to reverse course and charge the Hollywood producer, Cuomo declared that an investigation into Vance’s original decision to not prosecute Weinstein was necessary because, the governor said, “it is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases.”
However, BuzzFeed on Tuesday reported that Cuomo reversed himself in June, sending a letter to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood asking her to suspend the investigation for six months. The suspension effectively shields Boies from scrutiny of any potential relationship between his 2015 donation to Vance and Vance’s decision not to prosecute Weinstein. –Capital & Main
Cuomo’s June order came within weeks of the $25,000 donation to his reelection campaign, according to New York campaign finance records – approximately 10% of the $245,000 Boies and his firm have donated to Cuomo’s campaigns since 2009.
“Neither Mr. Boies, nor anyone from his firm, ever discussed Harvey Weinstein or Mr. Vance with Mr. Cuomo, or anyone from his office, at any time,” a spokesperson for Boies Schiller & Flexner told Capital & Main in an emailed statement. “Mr. Boies is a longtime supporter of Mr. Cuomo and his contribution in June was consistent with his contributions to Mr. Cuomo over years past.”
Boies has since dropped Weinstein as a client after learning that he hired a private investigation firm run by undercover ex-Mossad agents to silence his accusers and halt publications from exposing his sexual crimes.
Cuomo’s office says that the investigation was suspended so as not to interfere with Vance’s ongoing prosecution of Weinstein.
“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,” Cuomo press secretary Dani Lever told Buzzfeed. “Given the recent indictment and prosecution of Harvey Weinstein by the district attorney, the attorney general’s investigation has been postponed for six months.”