Opinion: Why is Eric Schneiderman Under Siege? He's Doing His Job

The New York Post wants him to stop rocking the boat. A director of the New York Federal Reserve thinks he's going too far. The White House wants him to back off.

Why are so many powerful people bothered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman? Because he's doing his job.

AG Schneiderman has broken ranks with the majority of state AGs who have sought a broad resolution with the big banks in the matter of the foreclosure fraud crisis. Along with Beau Biden of Delaware and Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, our top law enforcer has said that we shouldn't make a deal before we know what crime was committed.

Evidently, that approach is heretical enough to get him dropped from the steering committee of the 50-state effort by Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller who called Schneiderman's position "unprecedented" and "unacceptable."

The truly unprecedented behavior was by the big banks, mortgage servicers, robo-signers and foreclosure agents who, through a mix of greed, willful ignorance and incompetence, created a national mess. And what's "unacceptable" is the notion that the AGs would create a settlement before they even investigated the extent of the criminal activity.

The New York Post editorial tries to reduce the issue to the robo-signers, acknowledging their illegality. However, that's only one criminal act, which has been well-documented thanks to tenacious reporting. A little investigation by our Attorneys General across the nation could reveal a lot more.

And that's what the banks - and their friends in the Obama Administration - are scared about. The White House has been pressuring Schneiderman to get in line - and to his credit, Eric Schneiderman has resisted, showing more conviction in this matter than our DC leadership has shown on, well, just about anything.

So even as Karhtyn Wylde of the New York Fed and the Partnership for New York may be put out by what our AG is up to - and as she expresses it ways that raise complaints over her conflict of interest - Schneiderman is on the right path. We can't know where these investigations will lead. But we do know that the big banks have high-powered allies and nothing to fear at all for behaving criminally, that's when the hubris sets in A little humility on their part would be good for our financial system.

And we New Yorkers can be proud that it's our AG leading the fight.

Justin Krebs is a political organizer and writer based in New York City. He is the founder of Living Liberally, a nationwide network of 250 local clubs that create social events around progressive politics, and author of "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal."

Disclosure: Schneiderman’s father, Irwin Schneiderman, is a member of the WNYC Board of Trustees and has been a long-time donor to the station.