Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking Kerik to Tape Husband

I don't want Jeanine Pirro to win the election for New York Attorney General, but I'm sorry to see her personal life splashed all over the papers. This is really sordid. I also don't wish a federal investigation on anyone, especially over marital problems.

Shorter version: Pirro asked Bernie Kerik to bug her husband to find out about his mistress. This is the same husband who went to jail a few years ago for tax evasion, where Jeanine wasn't indicted because she had innocent spouse status even though she signed the return. The feds were tapping Bernie in 2005 on an unrelated matter and they caught his coversations with Jeanine. Now she's under investigation.

Sources told NewsChannel 4 that in one conversation, Pirro allegedly complained that one of Kerik's employees is reluctant to board Albert Pirro's boat. Jeanine Pirro suggests, "We can just simply say, if there is an issue, that I am redecorating it for our anniversary." She complains that Kerik's man is, "uncomfortable with that."

Kerik responds by saying, "But Janine, I'm having the same f------g problem with everybody... everybody is panic stricken because it's you... I've gone out on a limb... I had two other people looking at this... it's a problem." Pirro says, "What am I supposed to do, Bernie? Watch him f--k her every night? What am I supposed to do?... I can go on the boat, I'll put the f-----g thing on myself."

Minutes later, Kerik apparently calls a contact at Giuliani Partners, former mayor Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm, asking him to find a recording device.

Jeanine's marital problems have been splashed on the pages of NY papers for years. But it's reason's like this she shouldn't be Attorney General or Senator, not her questionable decision to stay with her philandering husband.

Updates: Jeanine says she's the victim of an over-zealous prosecutor:

Pirro, who faces former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo in the attorney general's race, said she learned about the investigation when she was approached by a pair of FBI agents outside her home. She repeatedly said this was a personal matter involving her husband and charged she was the target of "an unethical, overzealous prosecutor with a partisan agenda."

In addition, she had this to say:

"Sometime last year, I came to believe that my husband was seeing another woman," Pirro said. "In the midst of matrimonial discord, I was angry and had him followed to see if what I suspected was true. Although I spoke about taping him, there was no taping by me of anyone. There was anger, and frustration, and disappointment."

She also says she has "no respect for this investigation."

More from New York Times.

Jeanine insists she did nothing wrong and is not quitting the race. But come on, Jeanine, this is a little over the top:

I'm standing up for myself and standing up for women."

As for why she's stays married to the creep:

Pirro, whose troubled relationship with her husband of 21 years has been a source of controversy throughout her public life, was unusually candid when she spoke of why she remained in the marriage. They have a 21-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son.

"My husband is a great father. I have two beautiful children in school ... a teenage son, who needs his father with him," she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "These are personal choices that I have made, and I shouldn't have to keep explaining them."

True, but you also shouldn't suggest you represent all women. And I wonder whether it was the kids or Albert's money that kept her in the marriage? Living at the style to which they were accustomed would hardly be possible on her $137,000 D.A.'s salary.

Kerik's lawyer (disclosure, he's my good pal) Joe Tacopina says:

Kerik lawyer Joseph Tacopina confirmed Kerik's role in the matter but said he had become involved through a long friendship with Pirro.

"Bernie spoke to a friend in distress regarding a domestic issue," Tacopina said. "Nothing illegal was said, and nothing illegal was done."

Note: I edited the post title and first paragraph to reflect that she only asked Kerik to bug her husband's boat, they never actually did it.

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    can we say, retributive justice?

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#2)
    by Sailor on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 04:20:27 PM EST
    The same 'bernie kerik' nominated by bush for DHS? Let's see if I got this right: In addition to all her other faults she and kerik knowingly committed federal crimes and those crimes involve Rudy Giuliani, who kerik used to work for ... I'm sorry she felt she has to commit crimes to catch her husband cheating ... ehh, not really. This just goes to show how deep the culture of corruption is amongst rethugs. Former police chief calls former mayor's company to help commit federal crimes against prospective senator's husband ... gee, remember when they all thought a consensual BJ was reasons for impeachment!?

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 04:23:49 PM EST
    A political figure who has a cheating spouse... Where have I heard that before?? ;-) (Okay. Okay. It's off subject. It's trollish. But I just couldn't resist.)

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 04:51:53 PM EST
    Sailor: You've got it a little wrong. After leaving the NYPD shortly after Giuliani left the mayoralty, Kerik went to work for the business Giuliani "just fell into" (ahem), the Giuliani Partners. Kerik was one of the officers - an Executive VP, I think. Giuliani Partners was a sort of hybrid security consulting/investment banking/military-industrial complex place for former high government officials to hang out and make lots of money. They did stuff like buy the company that makes the "Camelback" water bladders the Army bought for soldiers to use in hot places. They don't make stuff; they own stuff. It smelled to me like the place pols go to make a pile of money off their contacts, until their next campaign opportunity comes aroung, but that's just my supposition. Anyway, after Kerik's nomination to DHS (pushed hard by Giuliani) got scotched, and he became embroiled in the apartment-renovation-by-mob-connected-contractors-needing-favors scandal, which ultimately led to Kerik taking a plea a month or so ago, Giuliani Partners cut him loose. Apparently, he would have been a drag on business. I don't think the press reports say Kerik actually bugged the boat, nor that he had someone do it. Rather, it appears Pirro was seeking to have him or his company do it. That doesn't exclude the possibility there actually was bugging - the press reports just don't say so, yet. I have read, though, that Mrs. Pirro had a "surprise" parking lot meeting where it was just her and two FBI guys with questions. Her surprise. Hilariously, Republican Pirro now claims that the Republican-run Justice Department, with the Republican-appointed US Attorney, is engaging in a politically motivated smear campaign run by an overzealous Republican prosecutor and designed to destroy her Republican candidacy. She uses the word "vendetta". No, I'm not making that up - she just gave a press conference in which she alternately played wronged wife, combative candidate, and putative defendant proclaiming she'd done nothing wrong. Of course, she was just humiliated (a little) last week about her prosecutorial conduct. A man serving a long term for rape, whose plea to have DNA evidence tested she'd given the back of her hand, was released when comparison of the DNA with the FBI database showed (A) he hadn't done it and (B) the guy who did, is now in for another murder. The released defendant had gone in when he was 17 and is now 33. She and Kerik are made for each other.

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#5)
    by Sailor on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 05:28:26 PM EST
    scribe, thanks for setting me straight ... or if I actually thought all men and women behaved that way in relationships, turning me gay ... not that there's anything wrong with that;-)

    She repeatedly said this was a personal matter involving her husband and charged she was the target of "an unethical, overzealous prosecutor with a partisan agenda."
    Can someone say karma? I don't feel sorry for her one bit.

    Stick a fork in her.

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#9)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 08:19:47 PM EST
    Sauce for the goose when Giuliani tries to run for Prez. Pirro just Kerik'd all over him.

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#7)
    by rdandrea on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 08:50:18 PM EST
    Jeralyn, Janine Pirro is a person who has made a comfortable living by virtue of having her name splashed all over the papers. If you live by the sword, be prepared to die by the sword. Many of us live our lives in total anonymity. We are content to do so. Some of us who live that life have no sympathy for people who don't live that way, yet aren't prepared to die that way. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimcee on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 08:50:18 PM EST
    "I don't wish a federal investigation on anyone...". TalkLeft has flogged the Fitzgerald investigation for the better part of a year and a half and that is a federal investigation if I'm not mistaken. Ms Pirro is the essence of the Repubs in NY state. Shiney on the outside, sh*tty on the inside. She is the only candidate that the NY Republicans can nominate that could loose to Andrew Cuomo who is not really liked by most New Yorkers. I just won't flip that lever on the AG line. I hate to 'not vote' but sometimes both candidates suck so bad I have no choice.

    Jimcee, I've said I don't wish a federal investigation on anyone many times, including Karl Rove. Perhaps you missed this op-ed I wrote.

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:49:42 AM EST
    Who or what she asked Kerik to bug is irreleveant. She asked for an illegal bug, such a person belongs nowhere near a government position.
    Ms Pirro is the essence of the Repubs in NY state. Shiney on the outside, sh*tty on the inside
    She's shiny on the outside jimcee? I like that shiny out, sheety in though...that describes 99% of our politicians.

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:49:42 AM EST
    The plot thickens. Apparently, the tapes arose in the context of a NY State investigation, then the NY State investigators turned them over to the feds. The State investigation was initially into the apartment renovations and (after that came to ripen into a guilty plea) expanded into whether Kerik and his minion(s) diverted any money to their own use or benefit, while Kerik was in charge of the NY jails - Corrections Commissioner, I think the job is called. This, before he became Giuliani's police commissioner. Here's an excerpt from an ABC News report:
    The alleged eavesdropping attempt first came to light to state investigators who were monitoring Kerik's phone calls during a corruption probe that ended with a guilty plea by Kerik in state court. Those tapes have since been handed over to federal prosecutors who are investigating Kerik for any role he might have played in diverting $1 million in cigarette taxes paid by prisoners and in the past rebated to New York City. Under Kerik, those monies were placed in the Corrections Foundation. His former deputy at Corrections, Frederick Patrick, has already pled guilty to diverting at least $134,000 and has served a year and a day sentence. Both Pirro and Kerik have lawyers working on the determining the substance of the federal investigation and a possible state investigation. ABC News is waiting for calls back from them. Both lawyers have told private investigators familiar with the case that it has no merit. But in New York state it is illegal to eavesdrop or wiretap without at least one party's consent. As a former district attorney, Pirro ought to have been aware of the law. Even were the eavesdropping request made while she was in office, however, it is unclear whether it was a crime. It would only be a crime if it had been carried out. Pirro's campaign has said flatly that no eavesdropping took place. Pirro and her attorney were recently notified that she was the subject of a federal probe and possibly a state probe. While Pirro has said that no crime was committed and the case has no merits, the transcripts of the conversations have been reportedly obtained by at least one news organization. Those transcripts allegedly contain foul and abusive language by Pirro as well as extremely unflattering characterizations of her husband. Kerik's answers, under considerable pressure from Pirro at times, appear measured and cautious. However, ABC News has learned, Kerik's alleged involvement extends beyond conversations with Pirro into follow-up discussions with others on how to conduct such a probe. Those conversations are also recorded. ABC has learned that at least three subpoenas were served on Kerik and his executives recently. It is unclear whether those were in connection with the prison charity probe, a separate tax probe or other matter. However, both the FBI and the IRS were involved in serving the subpoenas, sources said. In at least one instance, agents told the subjects of the subpoenas that the conversations with Pirro were part of the investigation. Two of the subpoenas were document requests for Kerik's tax records -- his personal ones for the two years after he left his post as New York City Police Commissioner and his business tax records. A third subpoena issued on Friday Sept. 16 was an order for an executive for Kerik to appear before a sitting federal grand jury. Bernard Kerik's office has been aware of the existence of government wiretaps on his telephone since mid-summer and has transcripts of those tapes in which Pirro and Kerik are heard discussing the eavesdropping on her husband. It is unclear from the transcripts whether the operation ever took place. Kerik's firm was however hired to tail her husband, convicted felon Al Pirro, and did so several times in recent months.
    Now, here's the interesting part. Or ironic - take your pick. In NY state, as in most other states, the conduct of charities and the fiduciaries running them is subject to the inspection, investigation, and control of the State Attorney General. In other words, the same job Ms. Pirro is running for. The AG investigates whether and when there is misconduct, misappropriation of charitable funds, and the like - all the things that appear to be brewing in the allegations that Kerik may have been involved in skimming from the Corrections Foundation. This was the charity created from/with the cigarette taxes paid by the prisoners (including those under Kerik's charge). A charity apparently subject to the AG's office. Nice guy, he. And, in this context, it makes perfect sense for the AG's office to get this out from under their roof, and under the feds'. It wouldn't do - conflict of interest-wise - to have the (possible) new AG on tape discussing possible participation in criminality, with someone already under investigation for criminality or misconduct by the AG's office.

    "I'm sorry to see her personal life splashed all over the papers", so here, let me splash it all over the pages of TalkLeft. I considered ignoring it, until you started going into her reasons of why she is staying with her husband...

    All I can find in the reporting about JP is she tried to get her boat bugged. Is it illegal to bug your own place?

    Re: Jeanine Pirro Under Investigation for Asking K (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:19:41 PM EST
    I sure hope it's illegal to use your political influence to get police to bug anything without a warrant Rich. Don't you? Why didn't she just hang out at the boatyard and catch him in the act like a normal scorned spouse? Laziness?

    Theres a lot of talk going oon about Pirro these days. Theres a new book out called "The Jeanine Machine", and it discusses her dealings in the DA office. It's written by a man who has experienced Pirro first hand. You can get it at vivishpere.com for only 8.00. It's definitely worth checking out.