New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo halted a state investigation into a 2015 case against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein days after receiving a $25,000 payment to his campaign from Weinstein’s lawyer’s firm, Capital & Main reports. It was previously reported by BuzzFeed that Cuomo sent a letter to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood in June asking for the state’s investigation into Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s alleged “mishandling” of 2015 allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein to be suspended for six months. Vance Jr. allegedly received a $10,000 payment from Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies, months after declining to prosecute the producer on the allegations. He reversed that decision and prosecuted Weinstein after news of the payment broke.
Cuomo’s June letter explained that Underwood’s investigation into the matter could “interfere with the current criminal case against Weinstein,” which could potentially drag on for “years.” In that same month, he received a $25,000 reelection campaign donation from Boies, Schiller & Flexner. According to state records, the firm has donated over $245,000 to Cuomo’s campaign efforts since 2009. The firm explained the donation by saying that Boies is a “longtime supporter of Mr. Cuomo.” “Neither Mr. Boies, nor anyone from his firm, ever discussed Harvey Weinstein or Mr. Vance with Mr. Cuomo, or anyone from his office, at any time,” a statement from the firm said. Cuomo’s office told BuzzFeed that he suspended the investigation to “avoid interfering with Vance’s ongoing prosecution of Weinstein.”