In late June, New York governor Andrew Cuomo quietly ordered the suspension of an ongoing investigation into whether the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had mishandled sexual-assault allegations made against Harvey Weinstein in March of 2015. As it turns out, this decision came just a few days after Weinstein’s former lawyer’s firm donated $25,000 to Cuomo’s reelection campaign, according to an illuminating new report.
According to the report, which was published on Capital & Main, Cuomo’s campaign received a $25,000 donation from Weinstein’s former laywer David Boies’s firm on June 20. On June 26, Cuomo ordered the investigation into the DA’s handling of the Weinstein case to be halted for six months — an investigation, notably, that stemmed from the fact that Boies had donated $10,000 to District Attorney Cy Vancebefore Vance’s office dropped the Weinstein case. (Per a letter obtained by “Page Six,” Cuomo’s justification for halting the probe was that it could potentially obstruct the criminal case against Weinstein.)
A spokesperson for Boies, Schiller & Flexner also denied any sort of arrangement between the governor and Boies, telling Capital & Main in a statement that, since 2009, the law firm has donated more than $245,000 to Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns.
“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 said. “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.”
Update, August 30: In a statement to the Cut, Cuomo’s press secretary Dani Lever argued that “no contribution of any size influences any government action.”
“The reported story about a recent contribution from David Boies’ firm to Governor Cuomo is completely irrelevant to any pending Attorney General’s investigation or prosecution because Boies stopped representing Harvey Weinstein as early as November of 2017,” she said.