New York Attorney General Schneiderman resigns in wake of bombshell report

NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a frequent antagonist of President Donald Trump, resigned his post following an explosive report that detailed allegations against him of physical abuse by four women.

Schneiderman, who had been a rising star in the Democratic Party, said he will resign effective Tuesday at the close of business. He challenged the accusations of abuse by women with whom he had romantic relationships.

The New Yorker report began a startling and immediate fall for Schneiderman with politicians including New York‘s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo — a presidential aspirant who is facing a rising primary threat from Cynthia Nixon — calling for the attorney general’s resignation.

“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York. In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” Schneiderman Continue reading “New York Attorney General Schneiderman resigns in wake of bombshell report”

Schneiderman resigns hours after allegations of abuse made public

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the state’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, will resign Tuesday, a day after four women accused him of violent physical abuse in an explosive article published by the New Yorker.

Schneiderman announced his resignation in a statement just three hours after the article was published.

“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York," he said.

"In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”

‘Arguably the most desperate act I’ve ever seen a sitting member of Congress do’

There are two massive portraits of President Donald Trump behind the bar at Grant City Tavern. The first is a framed photograph. The second, a painting by a popular local artist, features the president from the waist up, his head superimposed on the body of a muscular man with his bulging arms folded across his chest, wearing a tight muscle T-shirt that says “POTUS 45.” Next week, the bartender says, the tavern is hosting a “Lesbians for Trump” event.

Welcome to the East Shore of Staten Island. This is Trump country, and the president is playing a central role in what might be the nastiest Republican congressional primary in America.

Almost without exception, Republican Party leaders on Staten Island, in New York City and in Washington have thrown their weight behind Rep. Dan Donovan. They don’t like Michael Grimm, the former congressman who’s trying to win back his old Continue reading “‘Arguably the most desperate act I’ve ever seen a sitting member of Congress do’”

Scaramucci to host fundraiser for Grimm

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is headlining a fundraiser in support of former Rep. Michael Grimm’s GOP primary bid in New York’s 11th Congressional District. Grimm is challenging incumbent Dan Donovan.

Scaramucci’s support comes as Grimm — who pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud in 2014, resigned his seat in 2015 and then served eight months in prison — is trying to demonstrate his closeness to the president.

The fundraiser will be held May 19 on Staten Island. The primary election takes place June 26.

Michael Cohen names Trump, GOP fundraiser Broidy as legal clients after FBI raid

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen disclosed Monday that he’s had 10 clients in his solo practice since 2017, including the president and GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy, but the attorney declined to name eight other clients in response to a judge’s order.

Cohen’s attorneys said he had three legal clients in the past year, including Trump, former Republican National Committee finance co-chair Broidy, and a third person who "indicated that they did not authorize their name to be publicly filed in connection with this matter and directed Mr. Cohen to appeal any order to disclose their name."

For the seven other clients, who Cohen’s attorneys also did not name, "the work appears to be providing strategic advice and business consulting," his lawyers wrote in a filing made public Monday.

Cohen is scheduled to appear later Monday at a hearing to determine whether a judge will allow federal prosecutors to Continue reading “Michael Cohen names Trump, GOP fundraiser Broidy as legal clients after FBI raid”

Can Nixon get female voters to break up with Cuomo?

Cynthia Nixon, the highly recognizable star of the beloved show “Sex and the City” and a noted activist, is entering the New York gubernatorial race seeking an edge with female voters.

But Nixon will need to peel away support from incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a relatively popular governor with a record of progressive legislation on "women’s issues" who has consistently scored high favorability ratings with female voters in recent years.

“Cynthia Nixon would need substantial voter turnout and a significant portion of women to be competitive,” said Jennifer Lawless, a professor of government at American University.

When Nixon kicked off her campaign last week in Brownsville, Brooklyn — one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods — she made an explicit appeal to female voters.

“This year, thousands of women all over America are running for office for the first time,“ she said. “We’re realizing that if we want things to Continue reading “Can Nixon get female voters to break up with Cuomo?”

Nixon kicks off campaign with blistering attack on Cuomo’s record

Cynthia Nixon’s first official day on the campaign trail got a little boost from the failing subway system that she has already made a central issue in her underdog fight to oust Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

At about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday — 15 minutes before she was scheduled to make her official campaign announcement one stop and a short walk away — Nixon stood on the subway platform at Utica Avenue, looking around with resignation. She was having an experience common among New Yorkers these days: The 3 train that would take her to her final stop at Sutter Avenue was not running. In fact, two consecutive 3 trains had been pulled out of service, because of a sick passenger.

One woman got off a train coming from the other direction, talked a moment with Nixon, and told her, “I’m voting for you, definitely.”

Aside from picking up a Continue reading “Nixon kicks off campaign with blistering attack on Cuomo’s record”

Nixon’s challenge opens second front for Cuomo

ALBANY — Cynthia Nixon kicked off a left-flank challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, setting off a scramble for institutional support in New York’s Democrat-dominated political circles and making Cuomo’s quest for a third term a two-front war.

The “Sex and the City” actress registered a campaign committee and released a video that showed her with her wife and children, riding an Amtrak train and walking through streetscapes gilded and grubby.

“I was given chances I just don’t see for most of New York’s kids today," she says in the video. "Our leaders are letting us down; we are now the most unequal state in the entire country. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us.”

The announcement video was produced by WIN Media, a political consulting firm run by Matt McLaughlin and Bill Hyers, a prominent Democratic political Continue reading “Nixon’s challenge opens second front for Cuomo”

Cynthia Nixon declares candidacy for New York governor

Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon formally declared her candidacy for governor of New York Monday on Twitter after weeks of speculation she would challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a primary race this fall.

The announcement was made on the actress’s Twitter account, with a two-minute-and-seven-second video featuring her wife and children.

"Our leaders are letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty," Nixon says in a voice-over in the video, which shows scenes of her walking around New York and footage of struggling upstate cities

"I love New York. I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else, but something has to change," she says in the video.

"We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us," Nixon says, without referencing Cuomo directly.

The end of the video features Continue reading “Cynthia Nixon declares candidacy for New York governor”

The other winner in the Texas primary? Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York, had a great night Tuesday — in Texas.

The Democrat went out on a limb in a state far from home — she endorsed or contributed to seven female candidates in contested congressional primaries from El Paso to Houston — and came out with an unblemished record.

Two of the women Gillibrand endorsed, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, won their primaries outright and are poised to become the state’s first Latina representatives in Congress in their heavily Democratic districts.

The other five — Lillian Salerno, M.J .Hegar, Gina Ortiz Jones, Laura Moser and Elizabeth Fletcher — all advanced to May runoff elections by finishing either first or second in their primaries.

In the Houston-based 29th District where Gillibrand endorsed Garcia, the senator was on the other side of a primary split with senior New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who backed Tahir Continue reading “The other winner in the Texas primary? Kirsten Gillibrand”

De Blasio to hold fundraiser for Paul Ryan challenger

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hosting a fundraiser in New York City next month for Randy “IronStache” Bryce, the Wisconsin Democrat running against House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The fundraiser, which will take place on March 7, will be co-hosted by the Working Families Party and the Retail Wholesale and Department Storeworkers’ Union, and will be held at the union’s offices. The minimum suggested donation is $100.

Bryce, an Army veteran and ironworker, became an instant celebrity among the progressive left last summer after releasing a video that highlighted his mother and her health struggles, and the state’s blue collar workers.

De Blasio’s decision to host a fundraiser for Bryce, a candidate in a district far from New York, comes as de Blasio seeks to fulfill a pledge he made after Donald Trump was elected president last year to involve himself in this year’s midterm elections. This is Continue reading “De Blasio to hold fundraiser for Paul Ryan challenger”

De Blasio to hold fundraiser for Paul Ryan challenger

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hosting a fundraiser in New York City next month for Randy “IronStache” Bryce, the Wisconsin Democrat running against House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The fundraiser, which will take place on March 7, will be co-hosted by the Working Families Party and the Retail Wholesale and Department Storeworkers’ Union, and will be held at the union’s offices. The minimum suggested donation is $100.

Bryce, an Army veteran and ironworker, became an instant celebrity among the progressive left last summer after releasing a video that highlighted his mother and her health struggles, and the state’s blue collar workers.

De Blasio’s decision to host a fundraiser for Bryce, a candidate in a district far from New York, comes as de Blasio seeks to fulfill a pledge he made after Donald Trump was elected president last year to involve himself in this year’s midterm elections. This is Continue reading “De Blasio to hold fundraiser for Paul Ryan challenger”

De Blasio to hold fundraiser for Paul Ryan challenger

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hosting a fundraiser in New York City next month for Randy “IronStache” Bryce, the Wisconsin Democrat running against House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The fundraiser, which will take place on March 7, will be co-hosted by the Working Families Party and the Retail Wholesale and Department Storeworkers’ Union, and will be held at the union’s offices. The minimum suggested donation is $100.

Bryce, an Army veteran and ironworker, became an instant celebrity among the progressive left last summer after releasing a video that highlighted his mother and her health struggles, and the state’s blue collar workers.

De Blasio’s decision to host a fundraiser for Bryce, a candidate in a district far from New York, comes as de Blasio seeks to fulfill a pledge he made after Donald Trump was elected president last year to involve himself in this year’s midterm elections. This is Continue reading “De Blasio to hold fundraiser for Paul Ryan challenger”

Cuomo’s ambitions at risk as former aide goes to trial

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lays the groundwork for his reelection campaign — and possibly a 2020 presidential bid — there’s a dark cloud looming.

A corruption trial involving his closest former political aide begins Monday, casting a shadow over Cuomo’s ambitions and his ongoing role as a general in the Democratic war against the GOP tax overhaul, H.R. 1 (115).

The case will be a test for the Democratic governor, but also for federal prosecutors in New York, where former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara brought a parade of indictments against people in state politics.

Joseph Percoco, who managed both of Cuomo’s gubernatorial bids and served in his administration as “executive deputy secretary,” is facing charges that he shook down energy and construction executives in exchange for official favors. Federal prosecutors say the 48-year-old helped developers of a Hudson Valley power plant and a Syracuse company that Continue reading “Cuomo’s ambitions at risk as former aide goes to trial”

Christie’s parting gift: Billions to get Amazon

TRENTON — It was Chris Christie’s last major act as governor of New Jersey and, for a change, nearly everyone supported it: billions of dollars in tax breaks for Amazon if the tech and retail giant chooses to locate its second headquarters in Newark.

The tax incentive package, signed into law by Christie on Thursday afternoon and worth as much as $5 billion, is the latest move — and one of the biggest — in a scramble by nearly every state in the union to lure Amazon with tax breaks and other promises. Different states and cities are taking different approaches, despite concerns in some quarters about triggering a race to the bottom with taxpayer-funded incentives for corporations.

"The most important thing to me is that we’re not giving away ice cream in the winter time," said state Sen. Ray Lesniak, a Democrat and the primary sponsor, of New Jersey’s Continue reading “Christie’s parting gift: Billions to get Amazon”

Trump pushing to dismiss suit brought by former ‘Apprentice’ contestant over groping claims

Sexual harassment allegations against President Donald Trump dating back to his days hosting the reality TV show “The Apprentice” will be raised in a New York courtroom Tuesday afternoon, where a judge will hear arguments on a motion to dismiss a suit brought by a former contestant who says Trump groped her a decade ago.

Summer Zervos filed a defamation suit after Trump issued a statement appearing to dismiss her allegations that he repeatedly kissed her on the mouth, grabbed her breast and thrust his genitals at her when she appeared on the show in 2007.

In court filings, Trump’s private attorney Marc Kasowitz argued the president is immune from state lawsuits while he is in office, a claim that stems from a Supreme Court ruling in the 1997 case involving President Bill Clinton and former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones, which found the president is not immune from Continue reading “Trump pushing to dismiss suit brought by former ‘Apprentice’ contestant over groping claims”

De Blasio and his administration had a warm relationship with Kushner, emails show

Long before Mayor Bill de Blasio started to define New York City as the nexus of anti-Donald Trump sentiment, the mayor and other senior officials in his administration maintained friendly relations with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request show.

The emails, spanning from de Blasio’s first year in office in 2014 through the spring of 2017, show de Blasio’s occasionally fawning overtures to Kushner and others in the Trump Organization in the weeks after the 2016 election. They also show Kushner’s intense involvement in local and state politics, before his father-in-law’s surprise election catapulted him to becoming one of the most powerful political figures in the United States.

De Blasio had been a fervent critic of Trump during the 2016 campaign, calling him “dangerous” and comparing him to a “third-world dictator,” but he harbored no such sentiment for Continue reading “De Blasio and his administration had a warm relationship with Kushner, emails show”

Sessions: Guantanamo an option for terrorism suspects

NEW YORK —Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned Thursday that terrorists could expect to be prosecuted both in civilian courts and military tribunals, endorsing some — but not all — of President Donald Trump’s controversial comments following the deadly, ISIS-inspired terror attack in New York City.

Sessions, addressing a roomful of attorneys and law enforcement officials in the lobby of the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s office in lower Manhattan, also called for an end to the Diversity Visa program, the lottery program under which terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov was allowed to immigrate to the U.S. in 2010, from Uzbekistan.

Sessions’ comments come a day after Trump issued a series of tweets in response to the Tuesday terror attack, blaming it on the visa program and linking it to Sen. Chuck Schumer, calling for the accused terrorist to be sent to Guantanamo Bay prison and advocating that he receive Continue reading “Sessions: Guantanamo an option for terrorism suspects”

De Blasio fundraises off of Trump’s ‘pathetic mayor’ remarks

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign is fundraising off of President Donald Trump’s appearance on Long Island today, where the president, addressing law enforcement officials, said an unnamed “pathetic mayor” kept some police from doing their jobs.

"I’ve met police that are great police that aren’t allowed to do their job because they have a pathetic mayor or a mayor that doesn’t know what’s going on," Trump told law enforcement officials on Friday.

Trump did not explicitly name de Blasio in his remarks, but the mayor’s campaign was nonetheless eager to embrace the criticism.

In a fundraising email with the subject line: “[Fight Back] Trump is in NY today, taking aim at the Mayor,” de Blasio’s re-election campaign ridiculed the president’s remarks.

“President Trump is having a bad day,” the email began. It went on to say Trump was "lashing out. And his target is de Blasio."

Trump’s speech, Continue reading “De Blasio fundraises off of Trump’s ‘pathetic mayor’ remarks”

Trump allies aid de Blasio challenger

Close allies of President Donald Trump, including Robert and Rebekah Mercer — the billionaire part-owners of conservative media outlet Breitbart News — are helping fund Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Republican challenger.

Seven of the dozen donors who gave Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis the maximum $4,950 donation allowed by law are also donors to Trump.

Both Robert and Rebekah Mercer donated the maximum amount possible to Malliotakis’s campaign, the first time either has donated in a New York City election, though the two have previously funded efforts at the state level.

Malliotakis, who is in her third term in the Assembly, has struggled to raise money for the race against de Blasio, and the money from Trump backers could help fuel what has become the de Blasio campaign’s major line of attack against her candidacy — that casting a vote for Malliotakis is tantamount to voting for Donald Trump.

The Continue reading “Trump allies aid de Blasio challenger”