Interim NY Attorney General May Be Better Than Schneiderman

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that he was in no hurry to replace Eric Schneiderman as Attorney General of the Empire State because the office is in good hands with Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood.  

“I see no immediate rush because it’s not as if the Attorney General’s Office is rudderless in the meantime,” Cuomo told reporters. “She is totally competent in my opinion to run the office on an interim basis.”

Cuomo was New York Attorney General in 2007 when he appointed Underwood as the state’s Solicitor General.  When Schneiderman took over as AG in 2011 he kept Underwood in the same position.

“I am honored to serve the people of New York as acting Attorney General,” Underwood said in a statement. “The work of this office is critically important.”

“Our office has never been stronger, and this extraordinarily talented, dedicated, and tireless team of public servants will ensure that our work continues without interruption,” she said.

Many people have been worried about the impact of Schneiderman’s leaving on the Trump investigations.  Underwood’s appointment, however, should allay their concerns since in many ways she has better credentials than her old boss.  Not only that, but she is considered to be just as diligent and as much of a fighter for just causes as Schneiderman.

If Trump, Cohen and their co-conspirators believe that Schneiderman’s leaving means the criminal cases against them will disappear, they are wrong. In a statement upon taking office Underwood wrote,  “this extraordinarily talented, dedicated, and tireless team of public servants will ensure that our work continues without interruption.”

Repeat:  Their “work continues without interruption.”  There will be no break for Trump and Cohen with Barbara Underwood in charge.

Here is more information about her impressive background:

  • Underwood is a former law clerk for former Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States,
  • She clerked for Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,
  • She has argued twenty cases before the U.S. Supreme Court,
  • She was a law professor for a decade at the Yale Law School,
  • She was the Chief Assistant United States Attorney in New York,
  • She was Counsel to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York,
  • In 1998, she became the Principal Deputy Solicitor General for the United States,
  • She served as Acting Solicitor General in 2001, the first woman to serve as Solicitor General.

Barbara Underwood is extremely well admired and is a lifelong prosecutor with a reputation for brilliance and tenacity.  Instead of feeling relieved, Donald Trump and Michael Cohen should be shaking in their boots.