New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) froze a probe into the prosecutor's handling of the Harvey Weinstein case shortly after receiving a donation from a lawyer once connected to Weinstein.
Weinstein fell from grace in 2017 after dozens of women came forward and alleged they had been raped or sexually harassed by the Hollywood mogul. In one case, New York police secretly recorded Weinstein admitting he groped a woman without her consent and had done the same to other women, but he was never prosecuted.
The Manhattan district attorney who declined to bring charges, Cyrus Vance, Jr., later received a $10,000 donation from Weinstein's attorney David Boies. In March, Cuomo asked the New York attorney general's office to investigate Vance's handling of the Weinstein case.
In June, however, Cuomo sent a letter to the attorney general's office asking them to suspend the probe for six months. In a statement made after the freeze came to light Tuesday, Cuomo's office said they wanted to "avoid any interference with the District Attorney’s ongoing prosecution of Harvey Weinstein. We remain committed to conducting a comprehensive, fair, and independent review."
But Capital & Main reports that in parallel to Vance, the decision to shut down the probe came less than a week after Cuomo's reelection campaign received $25,000 from Boies' law firm, Boies, Schiller & Flexner.
A spokesman for the law firm pointed out that Boies, who no longer represents Weinstein, has a long history of donating to Cuomo. "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," the firm told Capital & Main in a statement.