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As Harvey Weinstein heads to trial on charges of sexually assaulting two women, the movie mogul may need to hunt for a new lead criminal attorney. Both ABC News and Daily Beast are reporting that Benjamin Brafman intends to withdraw from Weinstein’s defense team.
Since Weinstein was charged by New York City prosecutors, Brafman has led an aggressive attack on what he characterized as a “deeply flawed indictment,” which he alleged arose from political pressure. Brafman, who infamously said Weinstein “did not invent the casting couch,” has pushed the idea that aggressive cops and prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory evidence showing consensual relationships with his accusers. In October, he was successful in getting one count of sexual assault dismissed. Nevertheless, Weinstein failed in a bid to dismiss other charges related to two other female accusers in December.
A spokesperson for Weinstein wouldn’t deny reports of Brafman’s withdrawal, only saying that there is nothing to speak about just yet.
The next court hearing is March 7. The next few months will shape what evidence and witnesses will be heard at a trial that could happen as soon as May.