President Donald Trump reportedly knew that Eric Schneiderman, the former New York attorney general, was accused of sexually abusing two women back in 2013. It was news that was kept under wraps until recently, when four women came forward to claim in a New Yorker report that they were the victims of sexual assault during their relationships with Schneiderman.
The embattled attorney general stepped down shortly after the news broke Friday. According to Bloomberg, though, this wasn’t news to Trump, whose Trump University was being investigated by Schneiderman in 2013.
Trump, who was also strongly considering a presidential run at that time, tweeted on Sept. 11, 2013, that Schneiderman was worse than Anthony Weiner or Eliot Spitzer, both former New York politicians disgraced by sex scandals.
“Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone—next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner,” Trump tweeted, according to Bloomberg.
New York lawyer Peter J. Gleason sent a letter to the judge overseeing Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen’s case, alleging that both Cohen and Trump knew about Schneiderman’s reported history of sexual abuse.
“He argued that information about the women might be found in files the FBI seized last month from Cohen and should be kept under seal to protect the women’s privacy,” Bloomberg reports.
Gleason claims in his letter that one woman came to him in 2012 and another the next year alleging that they’d been “sexually victimized” by Schneiderman. The lawyer reportedly told the women not to speak with the Manhattan district attorney but instead to speak to retired New York Post journalist Steve Dunleavy.
Dunleavy reportedly offered to take the matter to Trump.
“Mr. Dunleavy did indeed discuss this very matter with Mr. Trump as evidenced by a phone call I received from attorney Michael Cohen,” Gleason wrote, Bloomberg reports. “During my communications with Mr. Cohen I shared with him certain details of Schneiderman’s vile attacks on these two women.”
Schneiderman’s lawyer, Isabelle Kirshner, refused Bloomberg’s request for comment. Trump’s knowledge of allegations against Schneiderman hasn’t previously been disclosed, but the two men have been publicly feuding for quite some time. According to Bloomberg, Trump settled the Trump University lawsuit—which claimed that the university was really a for-profit scam that defrauded students—for $25 million shortly after he was elected president in 2016.
The New Yorker article detailing the horrific abuse allegedly endured by women who dated Schneiderman claimed that the former attorney general would often become violent during sex, allegedly hitting and choking the women.
Before Schneiderman abruptly resigned, he was one of the few male voices leading a crusade for women’s rights and stronger legal protections for women from physical and sexual violence.
It appears that the women who alleged abuse by Schneiderman in 2013 and the women who spoke with the New Yorker are not the same women. The New Yorker article’s authors wrote that none of the sources for that story had any ties to Trump or Cohen or knowledge of Gleason, Bloomberg reports.