A prominent law firm that formerly represented Harvey Weinstein handed over a $25,000 check to Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s campaign six days before the governor called off a probe into the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against the disgraced movie mogul, public records show.
The hefty contribution from Manhattan firm Boies Schiller & Flexner came on June 20, according to records on the state Board of Elections website.
Less than a week later, Cuomo called for a six-month halt of state Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s investigation into Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance for deciding not to prosecute Weinstein for a 2015 groping incident.
The temporary suspension was ordered to avoid interfering with Weinstein’s ongoing criminal case.
Weinstein was previously represented by David Boies — whose firm was caught in a conflict-of-interest debacle after the New Yorker published its bombshell report on the slew of sexual-assault allegations against the producer.
Boies’ firm had hired and paid private investigative companies to dig up dirt on Weinstein accusers — while at the same time representing the New York Times, which also published a report on the Weinstein allegations.
A spokesperson for Boiles Schiller & Flexner — which also made a $25,000 contribution to Cuomo’s re-election campaign in 2017 — defended the donations.
“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 spokesperson told online political publication Capital and Main. “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.”
Vance came under fire after it was revealed he received $55,000 in campaign contributions from Boies — including $10,000 after Manhattan’s top prosecutor opted not to charge Weinstein.
A Cuomo spokesman told the website: “The attorney general’s investigation was suspended to avoid situations in which Weinstein’s defense attorneys would be able to constantly petition the attorney general’s office for information about what they uncovered and undermine a criminal prosecution.”
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