News and Commentary

MeToo Group Time’s Up Founder Advised Andrew Cuomo On Op-Ed Smearing Accuser
CWB honoree Roberta Kaplan speaks onstage during The New York Women's Foundation Celebrating Women Breakfast at Marriott Marquis Hotel on May 14, 2015 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images fot The New York Women’s Foundation

Time’s Up was founded during the #MeToo movement and was supposed to be an organization supporting women who accused powerful men of sexual misconduct.

Now it appears the group’s co-founder, Roberta Kaplan, advised Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) on an op-ed Cuomo wrote in an attempt to discredit one of his accusers, Lindsey Boylan. The Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross reported that the New York Attorney General’s office discovered the op-ed, which was never published, had been sent to Kaplan and Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen, both of whom signed off on most of the language of the piece.

“[Kaplan and Tchen] allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” the report from New York Attorney General Letitia James found. The report also said that Cuomo’s op-ed “denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated.”

As Ross noted, the findings in the report “could undercut Kaplan and her organization’s claims to be champions of the #MeToo movement.”

In addition to signing off on the op-ed, Kaplan is serving as legal counsel for Melissa DeRosa, the Cuomo aide who requested Boylan’s confidential file from her time working for Cuomo just hours after Boylan tweeted that Cuomo sexually harassed her. DeRosa is also the same aide who admitted to withholding New York’s nursing-home death total from COVID-19.

This isn’t the first time Time’s Up has protected powerful Democrats from the women who accused them. The organization also declined to assist Tara Reade, who accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault.

Time’s Up also isn’t the only organization that went against its stated mission to protect Cuomo. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Alphonso David, former counsel to Cuomo who became the president of the Human Rights Campaign, also worked to help Cuomo try to discredit Boylan.

After DeRosa requested Boylan’s “full file,” according to the AG report, David said another staffer should be able to get that for her.

On December 11, 2020, just two days after Boylan’s first tweet about Cuomo, David sent one of Cuomo’s top advisers, Rich Azzopardi, “files relating to his investigation into and counseling of Ms. Boylan shortly before her departure from the Executive Chamber that he had retained and taken with him when he left the Executive Chamber.” The report refers to these files as the “Confidential Files,” which included:

  1. a September 20, 2018 memorandum to Mr. David Regarding ‘Confidential Personnel Matter”;
  2. a September 26, 2018 memorandum to Mr. David labeled “Draft, privileged and confidential – Attorney Client Privileged Communication / Intra-Agency Communication / Memo to File”;
  3. a September 30, 2018 email from Mr. David labeled “Privileged and confidential / Attorney client communication / Attorney work product.”

David told investigators with the AG’s office that he kept copies of these files because it “may have been the only instance where [he] was actually involved in a counseling of an employee when [he] was in the Executive Chamber.”

Azzopardi sent those confidential files to numerous reporters at top news outlets.

As Ross noted, David has since called for Cuomo to resign without acknowledging “his involvement in the smear campaign.

Time’s Up also released a statement calling for Cuomo to resign, also without acknowledging Kaplan or Tchen’s reported advice for Cuomo’s attempted op-ed.

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