Cuomo got contribution from law firm representing Weinstein before halting probe into his case

As a native Illinoisan, I can appreciate the wildly corrupt nature of this story.  New York governor Mario Andrew Cuomo received a $25,000 donation from the law firm representing Harvey Weinstein just six days before he called off an investigation into the movie mogul's behavior.

The explanation from the law firm for the donation could have been lifted from a Chicago alderman's playbook.

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"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."

"Mr. Boies" is David Boies, a principal in the law firm of Boies Schiller & Flexner.  Why would Boies even have to mention Weinstein?  Cuomo knew Boies was representing Weinstein.  Boies knew that Cuomo knew.  It's the old wink-and-nod campaign contribution, where no words are necessary.  Cuomo knew why Boies was giving him the $25K, and the governor knew what it was for and what he had to do for it.

Presto!  Six days later, the prosecutor is told to drop the investigation.

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.

I am a big believer in coincidence – except where money and politics intersect.  The defense used by the law firm is exactly the same defense used by crooked politicians everywhere: we didn't talk specifically about what the donation was for, so I'm innocent.

...except everyone in Cuomo's office knew exactly what was expected of the governor when he got the check for $25K. 

The connection to the New York Times is incidental, but it reveals the more than cozy relationship in New York City between politicians and the press.  Everybody is in bed with everyone else – just like in Washington.  The intersection of business, politics, and media forms a nexus of corrupt relationships that dominate our politics and culture.

Perhaps if Cuomo were a conservative Republican, there would be a feeding frenzy from the media that would dig up every last scrap of dirt that could be unearthed.  But Cuomo will cruise to re-election, confident in the knowledge that no matter what, the media in New York have his back.

As a native Illinoisan, I can appreciate the wildly corrupt nature of this story.  New York governor Mario Andrew Cuomo received a $25,000 donation from the law firm representing Harvey Weinstein just six days before he called off an investigation into the movie mogul's behavior.

The explanation from the law firm for the donation could have been lifted from a Chicago alderman's playbook.

Page Six:

"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."

"Mr. Boies" is David Boies, a principal in the law firm of Boies Schiller & Flexner.  Why would Boies even have to mention Weinstein?  Cuomo knew Boies was representing Weinstein.  Boies knew that Cuomo knew.  It's the old wink-and-nod campaign contribution, where no words are necessary.  Cuomo knew why Boies was giving him the $25K, and the governor knew what it was for and what he had to do for it.

Presto!  Six days later, the prosecutor is told to drop the investigation.

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.

I am a big believer in coincidence – except where money and politics intersect.  The defense used by the law firm is exactly the same defense used by crooked politicians everywhere: we didn't talk specifically about what the donation was for, so I'm innocent.

...except everyone in Cuomo's office knew exactly what was expected of the governor when he got the check for $25K. 

The connection to the New York Times is incidental, but it reveals the more than cozy relationship in New York City between politicians and the press.  Everybody is in bed with everyone else – just like in Washington.  The intersection of business, politics, and media forms a nexus of corrupt relationships that dominate our politics and culture.

Perhaps if Cuomo were a conservative Republican, there would be a feeding frenzy from the media that would dig up every last scrap of dirt that could be unearthed.  But Cuomo will cruise to re-election, confident in the knowledge that no matter what, the media in New York have his back.