Eric Schneiderman Set Himself Up as Trump’s Foil. What Happens Now?

“Eric was very aggressive in challenging the Trump agenda in all sorts of ways, and it’s very difficult to predict what the next attorney general will pursue,” Mr. Koppell mentioned. “I don’t know if the next attorney general will be equally aggressive.”

The finish results of a lot of Mr. Schneiderman’s authorized challenges nonetheless have to be determined by the courts, however he definitely succeeded in at the least briefly slowing some key Trump administration insurance policies.

[Who will be the next attorney general? Here are some of the leading contenders.]

Mr. Trump sparred with Mr. Schneiderman lengthy earlier than he grew to become president, together with a couple of civil investigation into Trump University that resulted in a $25 million settlement. Mr. Schneiderman had additionally opened an investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation in 2016 after which the Eric Trump Foundation in 2017. After Mr. Schneiderman’s resignation, allies of Mr. Trump cheered his demise.

“Gotcha,” tweeted Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, digging up an outdated tweet from Mr. Schneiderman wherein he had reminded the president that “no one is above the law.”

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, tweeted about Mr. Schneiderman no fewer than 10 occasions late Monday and early Tuesday.

Mr. Schneiderman had centered intensely on Mr. Trump for the reason that day after the 2016 election, when he mentioned he gathered employees members in Manhattan to debate reorienting their complete operation. Since then, Mr. Schneiderman had engaged in dozens of lawsuits and administrative actions to problem Mr. Trump from the earliest days of the administration.

So will Mr. Schneiderman’s abrupt exit go away a vacuum for Democrats, both politically or legally?

“The short answer is the work goes on,” mentioned Sean Rankin, the chief director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “It does not slow down.”

Even although Mr. Schneiderman has typically served as the general public face of the sprawling authorized battles in opposition to Mr. Trump, Mr. Rankin mentioned that his group had already devised a technique to share accountability for the varied lawsuits in opposition to the president’s insurance policies. Doug Chin, the legal professional normal of Hawaii, as an example, took the lead in opposition to Mr. Trump’s journey ban, Mr. Rankin mentioned, and Xavier Becerra, California’s legal professional normal, stepped to the entrance in combating again in opposition to the president’s makes an attempt to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature well being care legislation.

“States are protecting their people, values and economy, and that will continue as leaders throughout the country continue to emerge to resist and persist,” Mr. Becerra mentioned in a press release.

“Nothing is going to change,” predicted James E. Tierney, a former legal professional normal of Maine who’s now a lecturer at Harvard Law School. “No change — zero.”

Mr. Tierney added that whereas the authorized actions taken by Mr. Schneiderman and his colleagues have been filed in good religion, their final success might reside within the eye of the beholder, they usually would possibly ultimately be little greater than velocity bumps on the White House’s agenda.

Mr. Schneiderman’s federal swimsuit in Brooklyn, for instance, difficult Mr. Trump’s repeal of DACA, an Obama-era program that protects younger undocumented immigrants, has already helped to maintain the initiative in place, although it might ultimately fail within the United States Supreme Court. And his litigation in opposition to the president’s first journey ban prompted Mr. Trump to twice revise the coverage, although it, too, is likely to be unsuccessful ultimately.

“Schneiderman and the other A.G.s are saying, ‘Look, we have a job to do. We can makes real arguments in real cases,’” Mr. Tierney unhappy. “And whether they ultimately win or lose, these are real cases.”

Still, the legal professional normal of New York, the house to Mr. Trump’s companies, his household and his marketing campaign, is uniquely nicely suited to taking part in an outsize position in authorized issues involving the president.

In specific, Mr. Schneiderman had positioned his workplace as a fail-safe within the particular counsel’s inquiry. In latest weeks, Mr. Schneiderman had sought to exempt New York’s double-jeopardy legislation from circumstances that concerned presidential pardons.

But now he’s the topic of a legal investigation, begun Tuesday by the Manhattan district legal professional, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. The way forward for that inquiry remained unsure after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo mentioned he was contemplating appointing a particular prosecutor to look into the costs.

For the time being, the workplace of legal professional normal will likely be taken over by Barbara Underwood, who has served as New York’s solicitor normal for a decade, and who’s revered within the authorized neighborhood, although not seen as significantly political.

“She is not someone who has had experience rushing up to a political podium to inveigh against the so-called forces of evil,” mentioned Seth W. Waxman, who labored with Ms. Underwood when he served as solicitor normal underneath President Bill Clinton.

With Mr. Schneiderman out and Ms. Underwood in, some Democratic attorneys normal from throughout the nation mentioned the brand new authorized panorama on their common weekly name on Tuesday.

“The A.G.s and I spoke about her today,” Mr. Rankin mentioned. “She’s got a tremendous reputation. They’re looking forward to working with her.”

She may be not lengthy within the job: State legislators gathered in Albany on Tuesday, lower than 12 hours after Mr. Schneiderman introduced he would step down, to debate whom they need to appoint to fill out his time period.

An extended record of Democrats have already begun jockeying behind the scenes to both win appointment or run for one of many plum jobs in New York politics. The primaries will likely be held in September.

Mr. Wittes, the Brookings Institution fellow, mentioned taking part in the position of anti-Trump would almost definitely attraction to any Democrat who grew to become legal professional normal. “Using that position as a launching pad for higher political ambition by opposing Trump is going to be an irresistible opportunity for some Democratic lawyer,” he mentioned.

For Mr. Trump, the resignation represented a welcome finish to an elected official he donated to in 2010 however turned in opposition to as Mr. Schneiderman started to analyze his enterprise practices, calling him “incompetent,” a “hack” and a “shakedown artist.”

In 2013, he in contrast Mr. Schneiderman unfavorably to 2 different Democratic politicians felled by scandal: former Representative Anthony D. Weiner and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. “Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman,” Mr. Trump wrote then. “Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.”

As a results of the insults, investigations and lawsuits, Mr. Schneiderman emerged as probably the most seen legal professional normal taking up Mr. Trump — a lot to the delight of Democrats.

“You are a superhero,” the late-night comic Samantha Bee advised him on her present final fall. During the section, she featured Mr. Schneiderman on a sequence of fake comedian e book covers battling Mr. Trump’s agenda.

“With great power,” Mr. Schneiderman quoted the well-known Spider-Man line again to her, “comes great responsibility.”

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