Eric Schneiderman, an aggressive climate litigator, resigns after assault allegations
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who filed multiple environmental lawsuits against President Donald Trump’s administration, stepped down Tuesday, a day after The New Yorker published accusations that he strangled and hit former girlfriends.
In a statement announcing his resignation, Schneiderman said he “strongly contest[s]” the allegations.
Along with attorneys general from California and Washington state, Schneiderman has been taking on the White House in the courts, suing the Trump administration on environmental grounds. He led a coalition of state AGs suing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over rule changes to the Clean Water Act, and helped in the effort to protect President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
With Massachusetts’ attorney general, Maura Healy, Schneiderman also led the “Exxon Knew” investigation to determine if oil companies committed fraud when they tried to convince the public not to worry about climate change. New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, the state’s acting attorney general, will reportedly continue that investigation.
The same day as his resignation, Schneiderman’s office put out a press release announcing that he was leading a phalanx of attorneys general to challenge Pruitt’s “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule, which would require the EPA to use evidence that came from publicly available. Scientists have critiqued the proposed rule on the grounds that it would exclude solid information from EPA decisions.
Schneiderman had not only positioned himself as a green champion, but also as a champion for women. In a speech delivered just a week ago, he said, “If a woman cannot control her body, she is not truly equal.” That statement obviously looks a little different now.