I assume only those so gullible that they are constantly falling for Ponzi schemes and hanging on Chris Cuomo’s every word have their hands up.
The #MeToo brigade that screamed that Justice Bret Kavanaugh was a “rapist” based on the weirdly vague “discovered memories” of an alleged victim who knew the SCOTUS nominee before he could vote went on to overwhelmingly vote for a Presidential candidate whose serial sexual harassment habit was a matter of photographic record. Now we learn that the leadership of Time’s Up, an organization formed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations (well, revelations in the sense that all of the Democrats and Hollywood stars who had willfully ignored them finally had to give in) that has the started mission of fighting sexual harassment and sexual assault—at least when Democrats aren’t involved, were involved in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to stifle the women accusing him of — sexual harassment and sexual assault!
The report issued last week by the New York Attorney General’s office found overwhelming evidence that Cuomo of sexually harassed eleven women. The report, also revealed that Roberta Kaplan, the chairwoman of the anti-harassment group as well as a co-founder, reviewed a draft of an op-ed letter that was designed to discredit Lindsay Boylan, the first woman to accuse Cuomo. The group’s CEO, Tina Tchen, also advised Cuomo and his staff, according to the report. Nice.
Today a group of victims of harassment t and sexual assault published a letter on Medium accusing that Time’s Up of betraying “the very people it was supposed to champion. The board continues to fail to heed the outcry from survivors. TIME’S UP is failing all survivors.”
Now Kaplan has resigned as chair, writing that as a lawyer, she could not answer questions about her involvement with Cuomo. “I therefore have reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign,” she wrote. So far, Tchen is still with the group.
Some legal ethics perspective is needed here. Kaplan is correct that she cannot answer questions about her involvement in the Cuomo mess, if she was indeed contacted as a lawyer, making Cuomo a client. She is bound by client confidentiality. Moreover, it is not technically a conflict of interest for her to provide legal guidance to a client that the group she heads supposedly opposes. That’s true even if her advice involves how to best undermine a woman whom her group insists must be believed. If Cuomo and his henchpeople knew about her position with Time’s Up—and indeed that’s probably why they consulted her—and she honestly believes that her alleged personal views on sexual harassment and sexual assault won’t create a conflict of interest, then there is nothing professionally unethical about her work for Cuomo. If Time’s Up were Kaplan’s client, then she would have a clear conflict, but I assume it isn’t. However, it would be unethical from a fiduciary perspective for her to continue to serve as a leader of a group with the Time’s Up mission while she was working behind the scenes for the group’s stated opponent . She should have either refused the overtures from Cuomo, or resigned from Time’s Up when she accepted the assignment.
The fascinating question is whether she would have felt able to stay on as chair if it were, just to pick a name out of a hat, Donald Trump seeking her counsel and she could keep the representation secret.
My guess is no, but you never can tell.