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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has been accused of subjecting four women with "whom he had romantic relationships or encounters with" to nonconsensual physical violence, according to their interviews with The New Yorker's Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow. Schneiderman denied the allegations in a statement, saying he has only ever engaged in "consensual sexual activity."

Why it matters: The allegations come as Schneiderman, the state's highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, has been a vocal supporter of women in the wake of the #MeToo wave. He has also taken legal action against the man at the center of the movement, Harvey Weinstein.

"In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross."
— Schneiderman in a statement on Twitter.

Two of the accusers, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, spoke on record, and said they sought medical treatment.

  • Barish said the attorney general, whom she was romantically involved with from the summer of 2013 until January 2015, backed her up to the edge of his bed one night and slapped her across the face violently.
  • Selvaratnam said Schneiderman was often violent and made sexual demands.
  • A third woman,who wished to be unnamed, said Schneiderman slapped her across the face.
  • A fourth woman, an attorney "who has held prominent positions in the New York legal community," said Schneiderman made an advance toward her; and "when she rebuffed him, he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day." The woman asked to remain unidentified, but shared a photograph of the injury with The New Yorker.

A look at the high profile men accused of sexual misconduct

Go deeper

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.

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