Beginning Monday when the Spitzer scandal broke, there’ve been unanswered questions concerning, for example, possible use of campaign funds to pay prostitutes and whether Spitzer’s been blackmailed during the years he’s held public office.
Those questions and others need to be fully investigated.
But some don’t want that to happen. A NY Times story today includes:
A friend of Mr. Spitzer’s, who spoke on condition of anonymity, reacted with fury at the news that prosecutors appeared to be widening their inquiry to include money spent on campaign trips that may have involved trysts with prostitutes.An AP story today includes this:
“At some point, this becomes piling on,” the friend said. The friend said that he would be stunned if “a judge or jury would convict a man for something like this. It’s very low grade,” adding, “Why would prosecutors pursue this?”
Gerald Lefcourt, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, said criminal charges against Spitzer would be "stretching federal statutes to a place they've never been."About Spitzer’s friend: If I were in Spitzer’s position, I’d be glad to have friends speaking up for me. But I’d tell them not to say: "Why would prosecutors pursue this?”
Edward J.M. Little, who worked in the public corruption unit of the Manhattan federal prosecutor's office in the 1980s, said it would be "piling on" to bring charges now.
"I think it would be outrageous if they went after him any further on this," he said. "Solicitation cases are typically pled down to minor charges and just because he was governor doesn't mean he should be treated any more harshly unless they impacted his duties as governor."
He added: "Even though I personally think it's reprehensible, it doesn't mean it's criminal. He's resigned which is probably the ultimate penalty in this case so we should let it be."
That will only get the public thinking maybe we need to know more about what Spitzer’s done that would concern federal and state prosecutors.
Message to attorneys Lefcourt and Little: I don’t doubt it’s in Spitzer’s interest to try to cut a deal as soon as possible.
But it’s not in the public’s interest until federal investigators and prosecutors can assure us they’ve looked at everything that could be criminal, had time to weigh everything and have concluded that a deal, if reached, is in the public’s interests as well as Spitzer’s.
The complete NYT story is here; the complete AP story's here.