Michael Cohen was aware of and discussed accusations of violent behavior against ex-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a lawyer alleged in a letter filed Friday morning in the litigation over the FBI raid of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
Peter Gleason, a New York attorney who is not a party to the case, said in the letter that two woman came to him — one around 2012 and another in 2013 — alleging they had been “sexually victimized” by Schneiderman, who stepped down as attorney general this week amid allegations that he was physically violent with multiple woman he dated. (Schneiderman has denied the claims.)
Gleason said that former tabloid reporter Steve Dunleavy recommended he bring the evidence to Donald Trump. Gleason infers that Dunleavy did bring them to Trump-world, as the lawyer said Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, called him and they discussed the allegations.
Gleason told the New York Times that his conversation with Cohen happened shortly before Trump tweeted vague insinuations about Schneidman.
“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 in 2013.
Gleason said in the letter that he advised the two woman not to bring their allegations to law enforcement because he claimed that Manhattan prosecutors had ignored corruption claims he had brought to them in the past. He told the New York Times that Cohen suggested to him that if Trump ran for New York governor, as he was contemplating at the time, he’d seek to bring light to the allegations against Schneiderman.
Gleason is now asking the U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood — who is overseeing the handling of materials seized from Cohen’s residence, office and hotel room — to place a protective order on any materials pertaining to his conversations with Cohen about the allegations. Wood has already appointed a special master to sort through records seized by the FBI potentially protected by attorney-client privilege.
Wood on Friday afternoon ordered that Gleason file a legal memorandum supporting his request.
Gleason did not respond to an email and text from TPM seeking more information about his claims. Cohen, Cohen’s attorney, the White House, and the private attorney representing President Trump in the Cohen search warrant matter also did not respond to TPM’s inquiries.
Gleason told the Times that the two woman who came to him were seperate that the four woman referenced in the New Yorker report that broke the allegations against Schneiderman this week.
Ronan Farrow, whom with Jane Mayer, reported the New Yorker story, denied on Twitter that any of his leads came from Gleason or Trump associates.
Nope. None of our leads came via Trump people, and we had no knowledge of Gleason. No surprise there were other investigations—legit ones and political smears—as allegations were so widespread. But ours didn’t flow from any of that. Women in the story were all Dems, incidentally. pic.twitter.com/WxDMDhiKzm
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) May 11, 2018
Gleason, a former police officer and firefighter, is perhaps best well known for his representation of Anna Gristina, who was prosecuted for running a prostitution ring that catered to Manhattan’s elite. She admitted to the allegations in a 2012 plea deal.
Gleason has also repeatedly run against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, including last year. Additionally, Gleason is known for his collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia in his $2.5 million TriBeCa apartment.
Read the Gleason letter below:
Update: This story has been updated to include claims Gleason made in an interview with the New York Times, as well as an order from the judge overseeing the Michael Cohen matter.