Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
The Clinton Foundation is a national and international scandal. It’s under investigation by the FBI, but not by the Attorney General of New York, who is instead targeting the Trump Foundation.
The media has spent weeks suggesting the existence of an inappropriate political relationship between Trump and Florida AG Pam Bondi. And yet it’s cheering the wildly inappropriate relationship which has resulted in a member of Hillary’s leadership council investigating her political opponent.
Some months ago, the spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had defended the trip he made to Miami Beach using donor money because he was fundraising for Hillary Clinton.
“This year, the Attorney General is doing everything possible to make sure Hillary Clinton is elected our next President.”
No one can argue with that as he abuses his office to launch his second legal attack on Trump.
Attorney General Schneiderman had previously made headlines for joining a group named “AGs United for Clean Power” to harass companies that questioned Global Warming. Some might have thought that blatantly identifying with one industry while harassing another would mean that Eric had hit peak conflict of interest. But then he opened an investigation into a rival political campaign.
“My interest in this issue really is in my capacity as regulator of nonprofits in New York State,” he insisted. “I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference.”
The place he wasn’t making a big deal out of it was on CNN.
Schneiderman has no problem with the Clinton Foundation violating state regulations. But then again why would he? He endorsed the woman behind it and serves on her leadership council.
Bill Clinton had not only endorsed Schneiderman, but households across the state were irritated to hear a recording of him on their answering machines urging them to join him in voting for Eric. In June, Schneiderman was in Miami for an event benefiting the “Hillary Victory Fund.”
And he is still doing what he can for Hillary’s victory.
While Attorney General Schneiderman can’t be bothered to do anything but cheer the Clintons, he has made it his mission to target Trump. Earlier this year he made the rounds of seven national news shows in one day in his assault on Trump University. Now he’s gone beyond Trump University to the Trump Foundation. Next thing you know he’ll want to investigate Trump Steaks. And go on CNN, NBC and ABC to talk all about it.
Are these investigations and lawsuits politically motivated? Obviously. And they’re part of a pattern.
Schneiderman campaigned for office by vowing that racist thug Al Sharpton would have an “annex” if he won. And there are allegations that he has borrowed some of Sharpton’s uglier tactics.
The Observer reported on allegations that Schneiderman had used the power of his office to browbeat donors. While most of those targeted by the Attorney General prefer to remain anonymous, one man did go public with claims that Schneiderman hit him up for donations while investigating him.
The Trump complaint states that, "Throughout the entire investigation-- up until a few months before the OAG brought suit against TEI, Mr. Trump and Trump Org. - Mr. Schneiderman, personally, and senior members of his campaign fundraising team, actively and aggressively targeted the Trump Parties for campaign contributions and other special favors."
While the investigation stretched out, Trump associates allege that the Attorney General asked for money and repeatedly assured them that it would go away. The complaint documents that Schneiderman lied about ending any relationship with Trump once there was a “conflict.”
When the Attorney General of New York comes calling with a lawsuit in his left hand while his right hand is stretched out like a bellboy waiting for a tip, it’s hard to tell the state’s top prosecutor from the mob.
But for a while life was good. Trump was just another billionaire who was good for a few thousand bucks here and there. Then Trump became a serious Republican candidate. And the game changed.
Attorney General Schneiderman is a big, giant conflict of interest. Subtract Trump and he got the most attention this year because his biggest donation had come from a former Playboy Playmate.
Even stranger, the former Playboy Playmate, who donated $65K, was living in Texas. What attracted her to a creepy left-wing New York City politician not named Anthony Weiner? Curiously enough she is married to a billionaire who owns a private equity fund and donated six figures to Schneiderman. Most of those donations were sent after the Attorney General began an investigation of private equity funds.
Six weeks before Schneiderman released a report blasting Airbnb, he picked up six figures from the hotel industry. Half his newfound enthusiastic donors hadn’t contributed to a local candidate in a decade. Two weeks before the report came out he cleared $10K from a group lobbying against Airbnb.
After fighting to save New York from the menace of affordable room rentals, he went after fantasy sports. Was Eric getting casino cash? You get one guess with the most favorable odds in the world.
But the Attorney General is now playing the game at a whole other level. And with his appearances on news networks comes a higher level of scrutiny. Harass Airbnb and fantasy football and you infuriate smaller groups of people. This is interfering in a national election. It gets a lot more attention.
For now the media has focused on smearing Pam Bondi while cheering Schneiderman as a “courageous crusader” whose courageous crusades have curiously intersected with his political interests. But as the New York AG escalates the fight, there will be a closer scrutiny directed at his affairs and arrangements.
Of Schneiderman’s two Democratic predecessors, both made it to the governor’s mansion. That might seem like a promising trajectory to the ambitious Attorney General, but of those two, Elliot Spitzer, the politician he most closely resembles in attitude, was forced to resign in disgrace, and Andrew Cuomo faces multiple legal assaults on a variety of fronts.
If Hillary Clinton wins, then Schneiderman might expect to move up the ladder. But history suggests that there isn’t anything good waiting for him at the top of that ladder. Just ask Elliot Spitzer. And if she loses, then he will have picked a fight with a future president who will be able to uncover the truth behind all the speculations about the many conflicts of his erstwhile nemesis.
The New York AG’s office is a place where nerds get to play liberal heroes while pursuing higher office. Elliot Spitzer manically flirted with the notion of running for president. Andrew Cuomo seemed to have a blueprint for getting to the big job. It would be small surprise if Schneiderman harbors an equally big ego. But instead of the White House, his ego may have drawn him into a fight that will end his career.