Brian Frosh Must Denounce Eric Schneiderman

Many have accused Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh of being the mini-me of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Frosh has signed on to many of Schneiderman’s seemingly frivolous lawsuits against the Trump Administration, and with Schneiderman’s encouragement has started a few of his own.

Needless to say that Frosh’s political world got a little more complicated today when a New Yorker article accused Eric Schneiderman of physical violence toward women:

Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked. Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he “never made any of these threats.”)

A third former romantic partner of Schneiderman’s told Manning Barish and Selvaratnam that he also repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence, but she told them that she is too frightened of him to come forward. (The New Yorker has independently vetted the accounts that they gave of her allegations.) A fourth woman, an attorney who has held prominent positions in the New York legal community, says that Schneiderman made an advance toward her; when she rebuffed him, he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day. She recalls screaming in surprise and pain, and beginning to cry, and says that she felt frightened. She has asked to remain unidentified, but shared a photograph of the injury with The New Yorker.

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Read the whole thing. Then take a shower because you will feel dirty reading about Schneiderman’s physical absue and threats to kill the women in his life. Don’t read it with children in the room.

With so much of Brian Frosh’s work intertwined with Eric Schneiderman’s work, there is a sense of intimacy between Frosh and Schneiderman that most statewide elected officials would not have with one another. Which means that Frosh knows Schneiderman better than most Attorneys General world. We don’t know the real sense of their relationship, however; Brian Frosh’s office rebuffed Red Maryland’s attempts to obtain documents related to cases that Frosh and Schneiderman were working together on. Now, maybe we know why.

Needless to say, we have some questions for Attorney General Brian Frosh:

  1. Were you aware of Eric Schneiderman’s abusive relationships with women?
  2. If so, how long were you aware of Schneiderman’s abusive relationships?
  3. What steps did you take to stop Schneiderman from abusing women?
  4. Did you report Schneiderman’s actions to any law enforcement officials?

I would like to give the Attorney General the benefit of the doubt and assume that he did not know about these horrible and sadistic allegations. However, given the secrecy with which Frosh has run his office and the way that Frosh has collaborated so closely with Schneiderman, it is easy to be skeptical.

Regardless of what Frosh knew and when he knew it, one of Frosh’s closest political allies appears to be a sadistic monster who both physically and psychologically abused women. If Brian Frosh has any decency, he should immediately denounce Schneiderman’s appalling and disgusting behavior. Furthermore, Frosh should work to ensure that Maryland taxpayer dollars are no longer spent collaborating on cases with the New York Attorney General’s office until Schneiderman is cleared of any charges or is removed from office. At this juncture, Schneiderman has lost whatever public trust he may have been given and Maryland taxpayers should not be on the hook for any charges associated in working with his office.

Does Brian Frosh have the guts to do the right thing and denounce Schneiderman? Probably not. But his response, or lack there or, will be heard by people of common decency across our state.

UPDATE, 9:58 PM: Schneiderman has resigned as Attorney General of New York. No statement yet from Brian Frosh’s office.

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