Editorial: Schneiderman, Revisited

This newspaper knew it would take some flack when it published an exhaustive investigation of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman two weeks ago. The attorney general, as you no doubt will recall, is suing Donald Trump, who happens to be the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher.

Mr. Schneiderman’s advocates chose to attack the Observer’s integrity, rather than deny or counter the story’s substance.

Well, things just got a little tougher for the attorney general. On Sunday, in a pointed editorial titled “Probe Schneiderman,” the Daily News called on the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics to investigate the attorney general based on some of the issues raised by the Observer and others. The paper took note of the “gravity” of the charges and said the issue is “compounded by Schneiderman’s failure to refute them outright. At best, his office has offered hair-splitting evasions.”

There’s no point in revisiting the case against Mr. Schneiderman here. But it has been two weeks since the Observer’s story ran, and the A.G.’s very able press office has yet to raise a single substantive dispute with any of the facts in our story. Indeed, when Business Insider asked Mr. Schneiderman’s office why that would be, he claimed the Observer’s story was so “littered with factual errors” that it would be impossible to go into detail. His spokesman then provided Business Insider with just two examples from the Observer’s 10,000-words—both of which were trivial details and neither of which was a correctable error. (One was whether someone had “worked for” or only “helped” the A.G., which was irrelevant, since they mean the same thing, and the print version of our story only used the lesser “helped” anyway; the other was a quibble he had not with the Observer but with the comments of the president of the nonpartisan fiscal watchdog Citizens Budget Commission, who criticized the A.G.)

Now that the Daily News has also raised serious questions, it will be harder for Mr. Schneiderman to stonewall legitimate questions about the activities of his office.