TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Schneiderman submitted his resignation after allegations by four women surfaced, accusing New York’s former top justice official of harassment, physical assault, and abuse of power. Gotham Gazette’s Executive Editor, Ben Max, is here to break it all down. Sonia Ossorio, president of National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) of New York, reacts to Schneiderman’s resignation. She joins us in the studio to explain the betrayal felt by many women who thought of Schneiderman as a champion of gender equality. We’ll examine the case against and the defense of Eric Schneiderman with former Brooklyn prosecutor turned private criminal defense lawyer, Julie Rendelman.

Aired on May 08, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, A SPECIAL EDITION OF METROFOCUS ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN'S RISE AND ABRUPT FALL FROM GRACE AMID ACCUSATIONS.

TONIGHT HE WALKED OUT OF HIS OFFICE THE LAST TIME A RESIGNATION SUBMITTED IN DISGRACE AFTER ALLEGATIONS BY FOUR WOMEN SURFACED AGZING THE TOP JUSTICE OFFICIAL OF HARASSMENT, PHYSICAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE OF POWER.

NOW COME THE QUESTIONS MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY CY VANCE AND ALL NEW YORKERS WILL BE ASKING, WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS?

WHAT COMES NEXT FOR SCHNEIDERMAN?

WHO WILL BE THE NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND IF CONVICTED WHAT TYPE OF SENTENCE COULD HE BE FACING?

MAX IS HERE FROM THE GAGT OM GAZETTE.

AND SONIA ORSILLO REACTS TO THE BETRAIL FELT BY WOMEN.

AND WE'LL GO INSIDE THE CASE AGAINST AND THE DEFENSE OF SCHNEIDERMAN WITH FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR TURNED PRIVATE ATTORNEY JEWELY RENDELMAN.

THIS IS A BIG STORY AFFECTING THE STATE AND THE COUNTRY.

AND WE HAVE REACTIONS FROM ALL SIDES.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF METROFOCUS STARTS RIGHT NOW.

ANNOUNCER: THIS IS METROFOCUS WITH RAFAEL PI RAMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR IN PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

> IN ONE CASE A WOMAN WASN'T EVEN IN A RELATIONSHIP AT ALL WITH HIM ALLISONEN.

THIS IS JUST AN ALLEGATION THAT HE CAME UP TO HER AT A PARTY.

THIS IS A PROMINENT ATTORNEY WHO HAD WORKED WITH HIM.

AND CAME ON TO HER.

WHEN SHE REBUFFED HIM HE HIT HER HARD.

IT WAS A RAPID FALL FROM GRACE.

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO METROFOCUS.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

NEW YORK'S ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN HAS RESIGNED AFTER FOUR WOMEN ACCUSED HIM OF PHYSICAL ASSAULT.

SPEAKING WITH NEW YORKER MAGAZINE TWO OF THE ACCUSERS DETAILED HOW SCHNEIDERMAN HAD CHOKED AND REPEATEDLY HIT THEM.

ALL OF THE WOMEN HAD BEEN ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED WITH SCHNEIDERMAN AND CONFIRMED THAT THE VIOLENCE WAS NOT CONSENSUAL.

HIS RESIGNATION MARKED A REMARKABLE FALL FOR A RISING POLITICIAN WHO GAINED A REPUTATION FOR TAKING ON THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND FOR HIS PUBLIC SUPPORT OF THE ME TOO MOVEMENT.

HOURS AFTER THE ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED, BOTH GOVERNOR CUOMO AND SENATOR GILLIBRAND CALLED ON SCHNEIDERMAN TO RESIGN.

AND IN A DEPARTING STATEMENT THE OUTGOING ATTORNEY GENERAL STATED THAT QUOTE IN THE PRIVACY OF INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS I HAVE ENGAGED IN ROLE PLAYING AND OTHER CONSENSUAL SEXUAL ACTIVITY.

I HAVE NOT ASSAULTED ANYONE.

I HAVE NEVER ENGAGED IN NON-S CONSENSUAL SEX WHICH IS A LINE I WOULDN'T CROSS.

IT'S A LOT OF GROUND TO COVER ON THE SHOW AND WE BEGIN THE SPECIAL COVERAGE OF THE RESIGNATION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND ITS FALLOUT.

FIRST UP WITH US IS AN OVERVIEW FROM BEN MAX, THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF 'GOTHAM GAZETTE.'

WE HAVE A LOT TO COVER.

I'M GOING RIGHT INTO IT AND SAY WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THIS NEWS.

WELL THESE ARE DEEPLY TROUBLING REVELATIONS.

I THINK FOR MANY PEOPLE ON A PERSONAL AND SOCIETILE LEVEL THIS IS EXTREMELY SAD, TROUBLING.

AND OBVIOUSLY THERE IS POTENTIALLY BORDERLINE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY HERE.

THIS FITS INTO THE ME TOO MOVEMENT AND MOMENTUM WE HAVE SEEN TO BRING BAD ACTING, POSSIBLY CRIMINALLY ACTING MEN TO JUSTICE.

AND SO IN FITTING WITH THAT IT IS FITTING THAT PEOPLE ARE COMING FORWARD TO MAKE PEOPLE PAY FOR THE MISDEEDS THEY HAVE DONE.

BUT IS THERE ANY INDICATION THAT THERE COULD BE CRIMINAL CHARGES?

RIGHT NOW A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GIVING THE NEW YORKER CREDIT FOR HAVING FOLLOWED REPORTING VERIFIED, ET CETERA.

BUT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT ANYTHING CRIMINAL.

THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR THAT.

IT FENDS ON IF THE ACCUSERS WANT TO PURSUE THAT.

THERE IS QUESTIONS AROUND WHO WOULD INVESTIGATE.

PERHAPS THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

ALTHOUGH THERE IS ISSUES THERE BECAUSE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE WAS STARTING TO INVESTIGATE THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE FOR HANDLING OF HARVEY WEINSTEIN MATTERS.

SO THINGS ARE VERY MESSY AS WE KNOW, AS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE NEWS NOW MANY MONTHS KNOW.

BUT THERE ARE QUESTIONS AROUND WHETHER THERE WILL BE ABOUT HOW THE ATTORNEY SKRERNL BEHAVED.

THIS COULD COME IN TWO WAYS.

ONE IS IF THE ACCUSERS WANT TO FILE POLICE REPORTS.

BUT IT COULD ALSO BE BECAUSE HE INVOKED HIS OFFICE AT TIMES IN THE ALLEGATIONS.

YEAH.

THERE COULD BE QUESTIONS AROUND INVESTIGATING HIS ABUSE OF POWER IN THAT RESPECT.

THERE IS A LOT TO FIND OUT FROM THAT FALLOUT.

BUT OF COURSE ALL EYES TURNS TO WHO FILLS HIS SHOES.

FIRST OF ALL WHO STEPS IN AS THE TEMPORARY ATTORNEY GENERAL.

BARBARA UNDERWOOD IS THE SLISTER VO JENNER GENERAL FOR THE STATE OF THE NEW YORK.

SHE IS THE ACT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NOW.

SHE HAS A LONG LEGAL CAREER, ARGUED CASES IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, VERY ACCOMPLISHED LEGAL MIND.

AND SHE WAS HIRED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE BY GOVERNOR CUOMO WHEN HE WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL AND KEPT ON BY ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN.

SHE IS IN CHARGE NOW.

BUT OF COURSE THAT BRINGS THE NEXT ISSUE OF THEN WHO IS GOING TO FILL AFTER THAT?

RIGHT.

THERE HAVE BEEN PEOPLE SUGGESTED WHO MIGHT BE NAMED AS OR APPOINTED.

THIS CHANGES THE ELECTION TOO.

IT CHANGES EVERYTHING.

WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ELECTION YEAR WHERE ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN WAS PLANNING TO COAST TO A THIRD TERM.

HE WAS RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION.

THE ELECTIONS WILL BE IN THE FALL.

PRIMARY IN SEPTEMBER, GENERAL ELECTION IN THE NOVEMBER.

THIS SENDS SHOCK WAVES THREW THE POLITICAL WORLD.

THERE WILL BE HE BIG QUESTIONS.

THE STATE LEGISLATOR COULD VOTE IN AN INTERIM ATTORNEY GENERAL.

IF THEY ARE INTERESTED IN RUNNING WOULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE.

SO THAT'S UP TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

THEY MIGHT NAME SOMEONE OR LET UNDERWOOD TINT THROUGH THE ELECTION WHY BE THE LOWER CASE D EXACTIC PROCESS OF COURSE.

BUT THE WAY POLITICIANS OFTEN WORK YOU MIGHT THINK THEY WOULD TAKE THE TUNE TO EXERCISE THAT POWER AND INSTALL SOMEONE.

SO THERE ARE QUESTIONS AROUND WHETHER THE STATE LEGISLATOR WILL INSTALL SOMEONE TEMPORARILY AND THEN WHAT THE ELECTION LOOKS LIKE THIS FALL.

OF COURSE.

AND WE CAN'T KID OURTSDS AURSZ OWE OURSELVES AND WE NO ALBANY IS KNOWN FOR MAKING DEALS.

WHO ARE THE NAMES FLOATING AROUND TO GIVE PEOPLE AN IDEA WHO WE MIGHT BE TALKING ABOUT.

SURE.

. THE STATE ASSEMBLY AND THE DEMOCRATS CONTROLLING THE STATE ASSEMBLY HAVE THE POWER HERE.

THEY MIGHT APPOINT ONE OF THEIR OWN.

THERE IS TALK ABOUT THE MS.

WEINSTEIN FROM BROOKLYN WHO MIGHT BE THE TOP OF THE LIST.

THERE IS A LOT OF NAMES BANDIED ABOUT.

LATISHA JAMES HAS COME UP MANY TIMES.

THERE'S BEEN RUMORS IN NEW YORK POLITICS THAT IS HER DREAM JOB EVEN THOUGH A LIKELY MAYORAL CANDIDATE AT SOME POINT.

THIS COULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPOINT HER TO THE POSITION AND THEN SHE RUNS IN THE FALL TO TRY TO SECURE A FULL TERM.

AND THEN THERE IS OTHER PEOPLE LINING UP TO POTENTIALLY RUN IN THE FALL, SUCH AS CONGRESSWOMAN KATHLEEN RICE WHO IS THE FORMER NASSAU DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND NARROWLY LOST TO SCHNEIDERMAN IN THE PRIMARY FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.

THOSE ARE A FEW MAIMS.

THERE ARE MANY OTHERS.

PEOPLE ON TWITTER ARE COMING UP WITH DREAM NAMES.

I SHOULD MENTION FORMER CITY COUNCILMEMBER DAN GROD NICK HAS ALWAYS BEEN TALKED ABOUT AS A STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

HE HAS A STRONG REPUTATION, A BUNCH OF MONEY IN THE BANK.

HE CAN BE AN INTERESTING CANDIDATE AS WELL.

I DO WANT TO TAKE US BACK TO SCHNEIDERMAN AND THE OFFICE HE HOLDS.

BECAUSE HE WAS ENGAGED -- OR AT LEAST THE OFFICE WAS ENGAGED IN LAWSUITS WITH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

IN FACT TRUMP HIMSELF IS U SUING SCHNEIDERMAN PERSONALLY.

DOES THE NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL UNDERWOOD OR WHOEVER DO THEY TAKE ON THE CASES?

WHAT BECOMES OF ALL THE LEGALEES.

THE DRAMA GIVES PRESIDENT TRUMP WHO IS NEVER ONE TO SHY AWAY FROM THIS TYPE OF THING, A LEG UP IN THE P.R. CAMPAIGNS.

YOU CAN SAY LOOK AT THE GUY GOING AFTER ME.

LOOK AT HIS DO YOU FEEL.

YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT FROM THE PRESIDENT BUT YOU DID SEE IT FROM DONALD TRUMP JR. ON TWITTER WHEN THE NEWS WAS BREAKING BECAUSE SCHNEIDER MANY HAS TARGETED THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND BUILT HIMSELF UP AS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL FORCES IN THE QUOTE UNQUOTE RESISTANCE.

UM-HUM.

SO THE CASES CONTINUE.

JUST BECAUSE SCHNEIDERMAN IS OUT OF OFFICE DOESN'T MEAN -- HE IS NOT THE OFFICE.

THE OFFICE IS NOT HIM.

UM-HUM.

THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW YORK CONTINUES.

THE CASES CONTINUE.

NOW BARBARA UNDERWOOD MIGHT DECIDE THERE ARE CASES NOT WORTH CONTINUING.

THAT WOULD BE HER RIGHT AS THE ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL.

BUT SHE CAN EVALUATE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS AS WOULD WHO EVER WOULD BE APPOINTED TO REPLACE HER OR ELECTED TO REPLACE THAT PERSON.

ALL RIGHT.

SO SO MANY MOVING PARTS.

BUT BEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING IN AND TALKING WITH US ABOUT IN SHOCKING AND SURPRISING BREAKING NEWS IN NEW YORK.

MY PLEASURE.

THANK YOU.

> I THINK THESE WOMEN WERE ESPECIALLY COURAGEOUS.

THEY WERE DEALING WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT, ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE, THEY WERE THREATENED NOT TO SAY ANYTHING.

AND ANY CAME FORWARD ANYWAY.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO THIS MORNING CALLING THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN ESPECIALLY SHOCKING GIVEN HIS VERY PUBLIC ROLE AS CHAMPION OF THE ME TOO MOVEMENT AND ADVOCATE AND ALI ON WOMEN'S ISSUES OVER HIS CAREER.

IN 2010 WHILE STILL A STATE SENATOR SFR MANHATTAN SCHNEIDERMAN INTRODUCE ADD BILL TO MAKE INTENTIONAL STRANGULATION A VIOLENT FELONY.

THAT YEAR THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN BRANCH ENDORSED HIM FOR HIS SUCCESSFUL BID FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL, CITING HIS UNMATCHED WORK IN PROTECTING WOMEN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE.

TODAY THE ORGANIZATION CALLS FOR THE ONE-TIME ALLY TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF THE LAW.

AND JOINING ME NOW IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN'S NEW YORK CHAPTER, SONIA ORSILLO.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

SONIA, FIRST OF ALL, YOUR FIRST REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD THE SHOCKING AILS?

UTTER SHOCK.

YOU HAD TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT TWICE TO LET IT SINK IN FOR A MOMENT.

DID YOU KNOW MR.

SCHNEIDERMAN?

CERTAINLY.

UM-HUM.

WE HAVE WORKED WITH HIM OVER 15 YEARS.

UM-HUM.

SO IT WAS QUITE SHOCKING TO HEAR THESE ALLEGATIONS THAT WERE VERY CREDIBLE.

UM-HUM.

AND CORROBORATED.

AND EGREGIOUS.

YEAH IT'S NOT JUST -- IT'S NOT ONLY HARASSMENT, IT'S ACTUAL ATTACKS, BUT PHYSICAL ATTACKS.

I MEAN OF THE KIND -- AND ADDED TO THAT THERE WAS RACISM INVOLVED IN SOME OF THE COMMENTS THAT HE MADE SO SOME OF THE WOMEN.

BUT MY QUESTION IS, YOU KNOW, AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, HE WAS A VERY PROGRESSIVE POLITICIAN WHICH IS WHY YOU GUYS ENDORSED HIM OVER THE YEARS.

AND I WONDER SWB SWUB SAID THIS MORNING -- AND IT SEEMED TO STRIKE A TONE WHICH IS WHY DO PROGRESSIVE POLITICIANS HAVE A SENSE OF SECURITY THAT SOME OF ENEMY CAN DO THINGS LIKE MR.

SCHNEIDERMAN DID AND ONE PERSON SUGGESTED THAT IT WAS PERHAPS THE LINGERING CONSEQUENCES OF THE -- OF THE MONICA LEWINSKY SCANDAL AND BILL CLINTON.

WHEN WOMEN ORGANIZATIONS SAID ALL IS FORGIVEN AS LONG AS THE POLITICS ARE CORRECT.

DO YOU THINK THERE IS ANYTHING TO THAT.

THAT'S BEEN A LONG TIME.

WHILE YES THERE HAVE BEEN MANY PROGRESSIVES WHO HAVE REALLY BEEN GUILTY OF REALLY BAD WAIVER IN THIS CASE UNLAWFUL BEHAVIOR, IT'S -- IT'S NOT JUST IN THAT DOMAIN.

WE HAVE SEEN OVER THE LAST YEAR THAT IT IS -- IT MEETS NO CLASS ISSUE, RACE ISSUE.

UM-HUM.

INDUSTRY, I MEAN THERE ARE MANY IN THE MEDIA, MEN IN HOLLYWOOD.

SURE.

THERE HAVE BEEN POLITICIANS FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME.

I THINK IT'S MORE AN ISSUE OF THEY BEGIN TO THINK THAT THEY'RE ABOVE THE LAW.

YEAH, AND OF COURSE IT'S NOT JUST PROGRESSIVES.

I MEAN CONSERVATIVES HAVE BEEN CHARGED AND PROVED TO HAVE BEEN ABUSERS AS WELL.

NOW, WAS THERE EVER ANY HINT THAT THIS PERSON HAD THAT KIND OF RESPONSE.

AND WE'RE ONLY ALLEGING BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN PROVEN.

ALTHOUGH AS YOU SAY THE WITNESSES, THE VICTIMS ARE VERY CREDIBLE.

WAS THERE ANY BEHIND BEFORE THIS?

NOT -- NOT TO ME.

UM-HUM.

AND I DON'T BELIEVE TO MANY PEOPLE.

BUT THERE IS ALWAYS A CIRCLE OF PEOPLE WHO KNOW.

UM-HUM.

WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEBODY WHO IS A SERIAL ABUSER.

YEAH.

THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE IN HIS CIRCLE WHO HAVE WITNESSED IT OR SEEN IT.

AND I THINK THAT'S THE NEXT PHASE IN THE ME TOO MOVEMENT IS THINKING ABOUT THOSE OF US WHO ARE COMPLICIT.

RIGHT.

IN ALLOWING THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR TO FESTER.

RIGHT, ENABLES EVEN IF ONLY BY THEIR SILENCE.

UM-HUM.

BUT, YOU KNOW, THE REASON I ASK -- I'M SURE YOU'VE SEEN THIS IN THE NEWS TODAY -- BECAUSE BACK IN 30U DONALD TRUMP TWEETED WIENER IS GONE, SPITZER IS GONE NEXT WILL BE LIGHTWEIGHT A.G.

ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN?

IS HE A CROOK WORST SINCE SPITZER AND WIENER?

JUST A COINCIDENCE OR WAS HE ONTO SOMETHING FIVE YEARS AGO.

I THINK IT'S A COINCIDENCE PROCESS.

HE WAS TARGETING ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL, ANYBODY ELSE WITH POWER WHO WAS ACCUSEDING HIM OF SOME KIND OF CRIME OR LOOKING INTO BUSINESS DEALINGS.

BETRAYAL OF WOMEN.

YEAH, WE WERE TALKING IN THE GREEN ROOM.

HOW IN THE WORLD -- I MEAN UNLESS THAT SMALL CIRCLE THAT YOU WERE JUST MENTIONING, YOU KNOW, BEGINS TO SPEAK UP, AND IT'S USUALLY A SMALL CIRCLE.

YOU ARE RIGHT -- UNLESS THEY BEGIN TO SPEAK UP, WHAT DOES AN ORGANIZATION LIKE N.O.W. VET THE POLITICIANS WHOSE POLITICS SEEM TO BE FINE?

YOU KNOW, I WONDER IF WE WILL START HEARING ABOUT THESE STORIES SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.

UM-HUM.

THESE FOUR WOMEN DID NOT HAVE TO COME FORWARD.

RIGHT.

AND THEY DID IT UNDER VERY -- CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WERE -- WERE DANGEROUS.

BECAUSE HE HAD THREATENED THEM IN THE PAST.

UM-HUM.

BUT THEY CAME FORWARD AND THEY HAVE SAID THAT THEY DIDN'T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO ANYBODY ELSE.

AND ALSO ONCE ONE OF THEM FOUND OUT THAT THERE WERE OTHERS THAT THAT REALLY EMBOLDENED HER.

AND I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF WE START HEARING STORIES, GETTING THOSE TESTIMONIES FROM WOMEN WHO HAVE THE STORIES TO TELL ABOUT PEOPLE RUNNING FOR OFFICE.

SURE.

BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY GET INTO OFFICE.

SO, YOU KNOW, YOU TWEETED THIS MORNING AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY CY VANCE IS THE ONE INVESTIGATING MR. SCHNEIDERMAN.

YOU DON'T THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA.

TELL US WHY.

MR. VANCE WAS -- IS UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE A.G.'S OFFICE HERE IN NEW YORK.

UM-HUM.

FOR MISHANDLING OF THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN CASE INVOLVING AMBRA BATTILANA IN 2015 JOO.

RIGHT.

THAT'S AN INHERENT KRSKT OF INTEREST.

HE CAN'T BE INVESTIGATING THE AG'S OFFICE OR ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN.

SO I THINK THE MOST TRANSPARENT THING WOULD BE SOMEBODY ELSE INVESTIGATE, A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR OR ANOTHER OFFICE.

IS N.O.W. GETTING INVOLVED IN TRYING TO MAKE THE SELECTION FOR THE IMMEDIATE REPLACEMENT?

ABSOLUTELY.

WE ARE ALREADY THINKING ABOUT WHO WOULD BE A GOOD REPLACEMENT.

CERTAINLY IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A WOMAN IN THE POSITION.

UM-HUM.

THAT WOULD BE A NICE CHANGE OF PACE.

SO THERE ARE -- THERE ARE A LOT OF CAPABLE AND READY WOMEN WHO COULD DO IT.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO, YOU KNOW, SUPPORTING SOMEONE WHO, GREAT FOR THE JOB.

WELL, SONIA THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

I KNOW IT'S A LAST-MINUTE CALL BUT I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

GRASSIA.

DE NADA.

WE JUST HEARD FROM THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN'S PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK CHAPTER WHO TALKED ABOUT WHAT THIS MEANS FOR WOMEN GOING FORWARD.

BUT WHAT COMES NEXT FOR SCHNEIDERMAN?

AND WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION?

AND IF CONVICTED, WHAT TYPE OF SENTENCE IS SCHNEIDERMAN FACING?

JOINING US NOW IS JULIE RENDELMAN, A FORMER PROSECUTOR WHO PROSECUTED SEX CRIMES AND HOMICIDE AND IS A DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN HER OWN RIGHT.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

FIRST LET'S TALK ABOUT POTENTIAL CHARGES.

IF CHARGES WERE BROUGHT AGAINST MR. SCHNEIDERMAN, WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

SO I THINK THE MAXIMUM HE IS FACING IS MISDEMEANOR CHARGES.

UM-HUM.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ASSAULT.

WE SAY IN NEW YORK IT'S ASSAULT IN THE THIRD DEGREE AND CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION OF BREATHING.

THOSE TWO SEEM TO BE THE CHARGES THAT FIT WITH AT LEAST THE ALLEGED ALLEGATIONS.

HOWEVER, THERE IS AN ISSUE WITH THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WITH REGARDS TO AT LEAST ONE OF THE ALLEGED VICTIMS.

AND WHEN YOU SAY THERE IS SOMETHING WITH THAT, I MEAN HAS IT BEEN TOO MUCH TIME GONE BY?

SO THERE IS A TWO-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMIT ASSIGNINGS WHEN IT COMES TO MISDEMEANOR CHARGES.

AND ONE OF THE ALLEGED VICTIMS APPEARS TO MAKE ALLEGATIONS THAT OCCURRED BETWEEN 2013 AND 2015.

SO THAT WOULD BE A PROBLEM IN TERMS OF GOING FORWARD CRIMINALLY WITH THOSE CASES.

BUT THAT SQULOO IN THAT SPECIFIC CASE.

THAT SPECIFIC ONE THE OTHER ONES WOULD HOLD IF THEY CHOSE TO BRING CHARGES.

IF THEY CHOSE.

AT LEAST TWO VICTIMS HAVEN'T GIVEN NAMES UP.

BUT THE ONES THAT HAVE MADE AILS OF ASSAULT.

AND SO COULD BE VIABLE IN TERMS OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

THAT BRINGS UP THE NEXT QUESTION OF WHO HAS JURISDICTION OVER THIS?

BECAUSE UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD BE CY VANCE, EXCEPT THAT THAT WOULD BE COMPLICATED BECAUSE SCHNEIDERMAN'S OFFICE WAS INVESTIGATING CY VANCE'S, THE MANHATTAN DACHEL OFFICE.

FOR THEM.

IT'S A LITTLE MESSY.

YES SFLA AND UNFORTUNATELY POLITICS IS ALWAYS MESSY.

AND SO IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THEY COULD BRING IN A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO LOOK AT THIS CASE.

REMEMBER, THIS IS AN INVESTIGATION.

RIGHT.

SO IT'S VERY EARLY STAGES.

WE DON'T KNOW, YOU KNOW, WHETHER THE WITNESSES OR THE VICTIMS EVEN WANT TO GO FORWARD AND WHETHER THEY'RE WILLING TO GO FORWARD.

THEN THE NEXT QUESTION BECOMES, IS THERE CORROBORATION OF WHAT THEY'RE SAYING?

IS THERE EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS IT?

BECAUSE IT WAS A WHIL BEFORE THEY CAME FORWARD.

AND THERE IS QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ASKED TO HAVE A CLEAR AND FAIR INVESTIGATION OF THE CASE.

ASIDE FROM THE ASSAULT -- POTENTIAL ASSAULT CHARGES THAT MIGHT BE BROUGHT, IS THERE ANY POSSIBILITY FOR ANY ABUSE OF OFFICE?

SOME OF THE OTHER ALLEGATIONS MADE WERE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, I HAVE THE POWER TO HAVE YOU -- YOUR PHONES TAPPED OR HAVE YOU FOLLOWED.

SURE.

OR I AM THE LAW.

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

AND I HATE TO SAY TIME WILL TELL.

I THINK THE BIGGEST CONCERN FOR HIM RIGHT NOW IS THE ASSAULT AILS.

YOU KNOW, THE POTENTIAL IS THAT HE COULD BE SENTENCED UP TO A YEAR IN JAIL.

IT WON'T HAPPEN IN THESE TYPE OF CASES BECAUSE THAT'S NOT THE NORM TO HAPPEN.

BUT -- BUT, YES, THERE ARE OTHER CHARGES THAT ARE POTENTIAL.

IT DEPENDS ON HOW THE INVESTIGATION REVEALS ITSELF.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THEN, IF YOU WERE HIS ATTORNEY -- BECAUSE I GUESS TECHNICALLY WE CAN STILL SAY ATTORNEY GENERAL SHIERTMAN FL TOMORROW.

BUT THE POINT IS HE ALREADY CAME OUT AND MADE A STATEMENT.

RIGHT.

AND THAT SEEMS SORT OF ODD GIVEN THAT HE IS AN ATTORNEY.

YOU'RE AN ATTORNEY.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE HIM AS A CLIENT.

THE SIMPLE ANSWER ANY ATTORNEY IS GOING TO SAY IS KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

UM-HUM.

ANYTHING YOU SAY -- EVERYONE, AN ATTORNEY BOTH PROSECUTOR AND DEFENSE KNOWS THAT ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU IN THE FUTURE.

SO WHEN YOU START RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS THOSE RESPONSES CAN BE USED TO FURTHER CORROBORATE AND SUPPORT WHAT THE VICTIMS ARE SAYING.

AND SO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT LET THE ATTORNEY DO THE TALKING.

DOES IT GET COMPLICATED BY THE FACT THAT HE IS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL AND AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE TO MAKE A STATEMENT TO CLARIFY FOR --

EXCEPT THAT HE RESIGNED TWO MINUTES LATER.

WHEN YOU GO ON TWITTER -- WE ALL HAVE A DESIRE TO DEFEND OURSELVES.

SOMETIMES SILENCE IS A BETTER APPROACH BECAUSE WE CAN DEFEND OURSELVES ONCE WE KNOW THE DETAILS OF WHAT WE ARE ACCUSED OF.

ANY ATTORNEY WILL SAY KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT UNTIL WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE FACING.

I DO WANT TO TURN BACK TO -- NOT NECESSARILY THE VICTIMS IN THIS CASE BUT TO ANY OTHER WOMEN WHO MIGHT BE IN A SITUATION, BECAUSE OF COURSE THIS BECOMES, WELL, PART OF THE WHOLE POINT OF THE RECKONING OF ME TOO IS FOR THE POWERFUL MEN HELD ACCOUNT.

YET YOU SAY FOR AT LEAST ONE OF THE POSSIBLE POTENTIAL CASES A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS MAY BE IN PLAY.

FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS WITH INCREDIBLY POWERFUL, WELL-KNOWN MEN, BE IT NEW YORK, ANYWHERE ELSE, WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE TO THEM.

NO ONE CAN PLACE THEMSELVES IN A VICTIM'S SHOES.

AND THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY PEOPLE DON'T COME FORWARD.

SOMETIMES IT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE DEALING WITH POWERFUL MEN.

SOMETIMES IT'S FOR THEIR OWN REASONS THEY DON'T WANT TO FEEL SHAME OR EMBARRASSMENT OF COMING FORWARD.

BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES WHEN THE VICTIMS CAME FORWARD, THE MEDIA CAME AFTER THAT INSTEAD OF AFTER THE ACTUAL ASSAULTER.

SO THE IDEA -- THE ASSUMPTION -- NOW TIMES HAVE HOPEFULLY CHANGES THAT VICTIMS FEEL COMFORTABLE COME FORWARD.

WHEN YOU TRM COME FORWARD QUICKER THERE IS MORE CHANCE OF THERE BEING ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS YOUR CLAIM.

IT MAKES IT EASIER FOR THE POLICE AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE TO MAKE A BETTER INVESTIGATION OF THE CASE AND MAKE YOUR CASE STRONGER.

SO COMING FORWARD SOONER IS HELPFUL CERTAINLY IN THOSE INDICATIONS.

BUT THEN AGAIN IN THE SPECIFIC SITUATIONS DOES IT BEHOOVE THESE WOMEN, THE FACT THAT IT SEEMS AS IF THEY DOCUMENTED AND LEFT A PAPER TRAIL AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

AN AMAZING PAPER TRAIL.

THIS IS NOT THE NORM WHERE YOU HEAR NOT JUST FROM WITNESSES BUT ALLEGED VICTIMS TAKING PICTURES AND SENT TO FRIENDS AND EMAILS TO FRIENDS AT THE TIME THE INCIDENTS HAPPENED.

THIS IS HELPFUL.

AND COMING FORWARD -- THIS IS NOT JUDGMENT OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT DIDN'T COME FORWARD.

OF COURSE NOT.

AS A FORMER PROSECUTOR IF I HAD MY WAY THEY WOULD COME FORWARD QUICKER SO WE CAN HELP DEAL WITH THE PERPETRATOR.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL A FINAL QUESTION THEN, WHAT AT LEAST FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE DO YOU THINK THAT WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE WITH THIS SITUATION?

OBVIOUSLY THERE IS AN INTERIM ATTORNEY GENERAL.

THE POLITICKED SIDE WILL PLAY OUT.

BUT ON THE LEGAL SIDE WHAT DO YOU SEE ON THE HORIZON.

THERE IS A POSSIBILITY -- AND ITD BE GUESSING.

BUT THERE IS CERTAINLY A POSSIBILITY OF CRIMINAL CHARGES DOWN THE LINE WITH AT LEAST ONE OF THE VICTIMS.

THE FACT THAT THEY CAME OUT TOO ME INDICATES THAT THEY'RE WILLING TO SPEAK TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.

AND KEEP IN MIND ALTHOUGH THE ORIGINAL ALLEGED VICTIM OF WHICH THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES SHE MAY BE ABLE TO ASSIST IN THE OTHER CHARGES, BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED MOD US OPER ON HER AYE WHICH MAY TEND TO SHOW HE DOES THESE TYPES OF CRIMES WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENED IN BILL COSBY.

WE JUST SAW THAT PLAY OUT.

THANK YOU, JULIE FOR WALKING US THROUGH THE LEGAL MAIZE OF WHAT MAY OR AY NOT BE POTENTIAL CHARGES.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

THANK YOU.

> BEFORE WE LET YOU GO TONIGHT, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A WONDERFUL EXTENSION TO METROFOCUS.

OUR NEW TWICE WEEKLY PODCAST WITH ME AS YOUR HOST.

ON IT WE'LL GET TO EXPLORE IN-DEPTH CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE A LITTLE LESS FILTERED THAN TELEVISION AND A LOT MORE INTIMATE.

I'LL TALK TO AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SET OF GUESTS WITH AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ATTITUDE.

WITH THE PRICE OF JOINING THIS PODCAST COMPLETE WITH NEW YORKERS FROM THE STREETS TO CITY HALL AND FROM WALL STREET TO BROADWAY?

ABSOLUTELY FREE.

SO HEAD ON OVER TO iTUNES OR SOUND CLOUD TO JOIN ME AND THIS MIX OF PERSONALTIES AS WE EXPLORE OU CITY WITH UNIQUE METROFOCUS.

FRESH NEW CONTENT EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY.

I'LL SEE YOU THERE.

ANNOUNCER: FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

ANNOUNCER: CORPORATE FUNDING FOR METROFOCUS WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY, AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

©2022 WNET. All Rights Reserved. 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 26-2810489