Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Spitzer target letter

Last evening California-based blogger Patterico, who’s also an attorney and prosecutor for the Los Angles County district attorney's office, posted on the Spitzer scandal[excerpt]:

[A] report says Spitzer is suspected of “structuring” which is the intentional structuring of financial transactions involving cash in amounts less than $10,000 for the purpose of avoiding the filing of “Currency Transaction Reports” with IRS and FBI.

The [federal prosecutors] indicted the prostitution ring based on what they uncovered in looking into Spitzer, but the facts suggest to me that Spitzer has received a target letter indicating that he is the target of a federal criminal investigation for his conduct.
Tonight it seems to me Patterico was right about a target letter.

From wcbstv.com this afternoon:
Gov. Eliot Spitzer is set to resign Wednesday, sources tell CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer, but insiders say he's going to use the resignation as a bargaining chip to cut a deal with federal prosecutors and he won't step down until that happens.

The talks have been going on since Tuesday morning.

The governor's fate rests in the hands of two people: U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and Michele Hirshman, the head of his legal defense team. The deal they cut will determine Spitzer's future.
Whoa, Nelly. What wcbstv.com should have said was: "the deal they may cut would help determine Spitzer’s future, but as of now there’s been no deal announcement from Garcia or Hirshman."

Back to wcbstv.com:
Criminal law experts say Spitzer will definitely have to resign the governorship and that what's involved in the deal is key.

So what's the best that could happen to him?

"No charges, absolute resignation, and contrition. I think the worst that could happen is a felony plea on one of a number of charges that they could lodge against him," said noted criminal attorney Ronald Fischetti, who has often had to negotiate with feds on behalf of clients. . . .

The very real problem for Spitzer, as he well knows having been a prosecutor and the former Attorney General is that he could be charged with a number of things that carry jail time: tax evasion, money laundering, bringing a prostitute across state lines from New York to Washington.

He also has another problem in the negotiations with Garcia, who could be feeling pressure to throw the book at him.

"It's very important that [Garcia] expresses to the public that everyone is treated alike and if he doesn't charge someone who was the Attorney General and prosecuted crimes, he will be subject to a lot of public criticism that he let [Spitzer] go because he was the governor," said Fischetti.
I'll bet most of you think there'll be more than "a lot of public criticism" if Spitzer is let off with just his resignation and a public apology about what he's called a "private matter."

Patterico's post is here and the wcbstv.com story's here.


Anonymous said...

If accounts are correct that Spitzer booked two rooms one for himself under his own name and another under the name of George Fox for use with the prostitute, who paid for these two rooms? Spitzer was in DC on official business so one can assume the State of NY was footing the bill for the hotel rooms and thus paying for the Governor's illicit behavior...That would be misuse of government funds...definitely illegal and it's likely he's done it before.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

...California-based blogger Patterico, who’s also an attorney and persecutor for Los Angles County...

I bet the crooks fully believe he's a persecutor, but that sort of designation better fits one Patrick Fitzgerald, who kept up his persecution of Scooter Libby knowing full well that Libby was not the source of the supposed 'leak' he was investigating. He should better have prosecuted Richard Armitage, who he knew from the beginning was the real source.

JWM said...

To Anon @ 11:44 pm,

You raise some great points.

There are so many questions unanswered about this scandal.

An example of something not nearly as important as the points you raise but still of interest: how did Kristen get into the Mayflower, up to here own floor, and then up to Spitzer's VIP floor without either Mayflower's desk and security people not noticing her?

To IS,

You are very kind to point out my error in the way you did. Also, effective and "on target" in noting Libby was a victim of Fitzgerald's abuse of his powers.

I've fixed my error.

To you both, thank you.


Anonymous said...

I believe it's "Whoa, Nelly." As in gee, haw, giddy up, and whoa.

JWM said...

To Anon @ 4:36 pm,

You're right.

I've corrected my error.

Thanks for pointing it out.