Eliot Spitzer Cleared of Financial Wrongdoing

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer got good news today. Federal prosecutors announced they will not file charges against him.

"I appreciate the impartiality and thoroughness of the investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office and I acknowledge and accept responsibility for the conduct it disclosed," Spitzer said in a statement today. "I resigned my position as Governor because I recognized that conduct was unworthy of an elected official."

That Spitzer won't be charged is only part of the story. The real news is that Spitzer has been cleared of financial wrongdoing.

Prosecutors had considered bringing charges connected to money laundering, or "structured withdrawals" to hide illegal movement of funds.

"After a thorough investigation, this office has uncovered no evidence of misuse of public or campaign funds," said U.S. attorney Michael J. Garcia.

As to no filing of prostitution-related charges, he was treated the same as everyone else:[More...]

The federal prosecutor said Spitzer acknowledged "he was a client of, and made payments to the Emperors Club VIP" but that the decision was in keeping with Justice Department policy "and the longstanding practices of this office" not to bring criminal charges against the customers of prostitution services.

Given "Mr. Spitzer's acceptance of responsibility for his conduct, we have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter," the prosecutor said.

All of our coverage of the case is assembled here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Umm, Jeralyn... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:48:38 PM EST
    ...I don't think Spitzer was a Republican.

    LOL - Fox News trick. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:50:09 PM EST
    Or wishful thinking? n/t (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:52:30 PM EST
    Wow, I thought I typed New York (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:53:32 PM EST
    I can't believe my fingers typed Republican. Thanks for catching that.

    It has been a long week... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:59:30 PM EST
    ...and a seemingly unending election.  I think everyone's brain is a little tired at this point.

    Truly MileHi. With the election and the (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Teresa on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:40:51 PM EST
    football coach situation here, I was sound asleep by 9:30 last night! I would hate to have had to be alert today for my first big time security briefing. :)

    It's ok Jeralyn. Your response gave me the (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Teresa on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:38:01 PM EST
    best laugh I've had all day. Very funny.

    Remember when they were throwing (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:49:23 PM EST
    around the Mann Act as a possible way to charge him?

    I could only think how many congress critters could find themselves in big trouble around the DC metro area - so many state lines to cross - so little time not to avoid them...

    More like. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:54:44 PM EST
    the Womann act in this case, but what can you do?

    This has been discussed in some detail (none / 0) (#12)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:14:00 PM EST
    over at FDL.  The gist of it is, technically, he might have violated the Mann Act by paying for her coming from NY to DC (crossing a state line) for the purpose of having sex.  But, existing DoJ guidelines rule out prosecutions for the mere crossing state lines - have sex - money changes hands set of facts unless there are the additional facts present - things like the prostitute is underage, being the victim of human trafficking or the like.

    After all - if your girlfriend crossed a state line (say, from Jersey into the NYC) and you gave her a couple bucks, more than needed to cover the tolls and parking and then you got it on, and she wouldn't have come but for your covering her transit expenses, arguably you technically violated the Mann Act.

    But, the basic rule in NYC has almost always been that johns do not get charged.


    Very convenient. Just after the election. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:56:17 PM EST
    Was this a politically motivated investigation?

    I can't quote the source, but wasn't (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by hairspray on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 04:59:56 PM EST
    there a story about who the tipster was?  I thought it was a Republican operative.  I could be wrong, but the idea was to rid NY of an abrasive reformer.

    Roger Stone (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:01:20 PM EST
    Stone (none / 0) (#23)
    by cal1942 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:04:53 AM EST
    Now there's a fine upright concerned citizen interested in promoting moral behavior.

    The quintessential Republican.


    Yes, we wrote up the whole thing (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:14:40 PM EST
    It's a news dump. (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:12:18 PM EST
    I'm so pissed at Spitzer ... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:41:07 PM EST
    for being such a moron.

    But I think the end of his political career is punishment enough.  I'm glad he won't face any legal problems.

    I'm not sure why he was charged to begin (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Teresa on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:43:40 PM EST
    with (other than politically). I hate what his family went through over this. Of course, that's his fault for doing it but I think someone went overboard in charging him.

    He wasn't (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by txpublicdefender on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:47:06 PM EST
    He was never charged.  He was investigated.  He resigned because of the disclosure of the investigation.

    Yeah, I'm stupid sometimes. :) (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Teresa on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 06:07:50 PM EST
    Why was it disclosed? Just another politically motivated leak I guess.

    Spitzer as Obama's AG? (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 05:35:37 PM EST

    At the SEC (none / 0) (#26)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:56:30 AM EST
    as soon as Spitzer left the NY AG's office, there was no one minding the store; and look what happened.  

    Does anyone think there is a possibility for him to resuscitate his career -- if not as an elected official, as a AG/SEC/regulatory type?


    Possible (none / 0) (#28)
    by AF on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:18:27 AM EST
    But he'll have to change his approach.  

    His MO was taking the moral high ground, alerting the press, and dropping the hammer.  I think he'll have to be a bit more low key.


    Any key (none / 0) (#30)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 01:45:28 PM EST
    would work for me if we could get a head regulator who knows what he/she's doing and has a commitment to regulation.

    No, even before the prostitution scandal (none / 0) (#22)
    by tigercourse on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 11:35:36 PM EST
    his career was over. The man was doing a terrible job as Governor. At the rate he was going, Bloomberg would have savaged him in 2010.

    Two or three years ago (none / 0) (#24)
    by cal1942 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:11:59 AM EST
    while pointing to his picture, I told my wife 'this man will one day be President.'

    She now pays absolutely no attention to anything I say and after Spitzer and Edwards, neither do I.

    after the autopsy you check for motivation (none / 0) (#25)
    by Palli on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:24:30 AM EST
    Please.   The purpose of the Spitzer thing was to keep the looming financial crisis off the radar until after the election...but being mere mortals of ill will their best-laid plans were a little off.

    John Law rarely... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:05:46 AM EST
    busts the john, unless it's a quality of life round-up of johns picking up street-walkers.

    The s.o.p. is to pressure the john to testify against the prostitute, which is f*cked up on so many levels.

    Legalize it already...let freedom ring.