Spitzer Lawyers Up, Resignation May Come Tuesday

WCBS TV (New York) reports that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has lawyered up. He's retained the New York law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. It also reports Spitzer is expected to resign Tuesday.

Question: Can we expect an appearance by Libby Lawyer Ted Wells, partner at Paul Weiss?

The New York Times in an editorial for tomorrow, explains why it's different for Spitzer than for others:

Mr. Spitzer’s own record of prosecuting such cases gives him scant breathing room. As state attorney general, he prosecuted prostitution rings with enthusiasm — pointing out that they are often involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking and money laundering. In 2004, on Staten Island, Mr. Spitzer was vehement in his outrage over 16 people arrested in a high-end prostitution ring.

If Spitzer resigns, New York's Lt. Governor David Patterson will take his place.

As for possible criminal charges, my latest post on the ABC report that he is being investigated for structuring financial transactions is here.

Update: Here's the press release (pdf) the U.S. Attorney's office sent out when filing the case against the Emporer's Club defendants.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The media is portraying this as though (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kenosharick on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:40:08 PM EST
    Spitzer RAN the ring, rather than merely being a client. Why was REPUBLICAN Sen. Vitter celebrated as a hero-stud for this very crime, while DEMOCRAT Spitzer is being crucified. As usual repubs get away with things Dems are not allowed to do- media/political double standard.

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#12)
    by standingup on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:19:40 PM EST
    and would like to see the Republican party take a little more interest in holding their politicians responsible too.  Think of the difference it might make for our nation if we all expected better of our elected officials.  It is a sad day for all.    

    Set-up... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:41:08 PM EST
    Does anyone else smell a rat here?

    I mean, why were they investigating Spitzer's finances in the first place?  Yeah, supposedly a bank reported his money tranfers...

    Tamminy Hall (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:43:01 PM EST
    Bruno plays Tweed?

    David Patterson (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:17:13 PM EST
    I have been very impressed with David Patterson for years.
    He is eloquent and honest. He speaks from the heart.

    I would be delighted if he were to be the new Governor of New York.

    He is a true progressive.

    I recall his. . . (none / 0) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:23:09 PM EST
    going seriously of the reservation over some issue at the time of the election, but I don't know what.

    Also, I believe it's Paterson.


    Are you wondering (none / 0) (#19)
    by Iphie on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:35:07 PM EST
    about Spitzer going off the reservation or Paterson? If you're talking about Spitzer, then yes, it was about Paterson -- specifically, choosing Paterson to be his running mate. Spitzer made the choice very early, while there were still others running for the position. It seemed to have come out of nowhere, and many political operatives felt that they should have been included in the decision making process. To give you an idea of how much of a surprise it was, Paterson's own father had already endorsed someone else for lt. governor.

    No. . . (none / 0) (#20)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:36:26 PM EST
    it was Paterson who, I think, speculated about some very non-Democratic policy in public.  I'm sorry, it's a vague recollection, and I don't have time now to track it down.

    Iphie, great comments today (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:37:27 PM EST
    you really have a pulse on the NY angle, thanks so much.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Iphie on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:06:29 PM EST
    I really appreciate this site.

    See the New York Observer, 2/13/06 (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:47:51 PM EST
    Spitzer's Mate David Paterson Is Mystery Man (quote on how Patterson was picked:)

    Leecia Eve, a Buffalo-born lawyer and former counsel to Senator Hillary Clinton, was running for Lieutenant Governor with the blessing of Basil Paterson and the junior Mr. Paterson's wife, Michelle. Ms. Eve's supporters thought they had Mr. Paterson's support, and the Harlem leadership was furious when he decided to come in on his own.

    The decision was not, of course, Mr. Paterson's. It was Mr. Spitzer's. And that decision came after two months of semi-serious offers from the Attorney General, Mr. Paterson said. The two men had met on a television talk show in late 1995 or early 1996, said the Senator (whose memory for dates and figures is legendary), before Mr. Spitzer was elected State Attorney General. They debated the merits of the police use of high-school yearbook photographs.

    Spitzer, Vitter (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:23:08 PM EST
    Spitzer shouldn't go until Senator David Vitter goes -- you know, the longterm hooker employer whose demanded a sexual speciality involving poop-filled diapers.  I mean, really, people.  Fair is fair.

    We will see an even more compliant Congress... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ineedalife on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:28:55 PM EST
    for BushCo going forward. The message has been sent, loud and clear.

    the higher you set the bar (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by TheRefugee on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:12:09 PM EST
    the farther you have to fall.  ES did a lot of good things and now he's just another blurb in the political sex scandal lexicon.   Too bad.  

    Wait (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by eric on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:24:30 PM EST
    Wait it out.  There is always such urgengency on these things.  Yes, he made a mistake, but he can own up to it an move on.

    Nobody even talks about Vitter anymore.

    Faster News Cycles Now (none / 0) (#27)
    by catfish on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:50:07 PM EST
    By tomorrow, definitely by Wednesday, it won't be on front page.

    I agree ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:55:16 PM EST
    it's barely been 12 hours since the story broke.

    I, frankly, haven't decided what I think of this.  

    And I don't feel like a moron because I can't make some snap moralistic judgment that ends a man's political career.


    Sigh. (4.50 / 2) (#5)
    by s5 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:50:47 PM EST
    Just for once, I would love to hear a politician involved in a sex scandal to brush it off, then turn it around and ask "why isn't prostitution legal?" or "why must gay sex still be so stigmatized that we have to seek it out in anonymous bathrooms?". As long as they're crashing and burning, why not get a debate going, instead of always reaching for the "I'm earnestly apologizing with my wife standing next to me, and tomorrow I'll start alcohol rehab" card.

    Mrs. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by tek on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:12:03 PM EST
    Spitzer did not look like she was "standing by" her man in the video I saw.  

    Legalizing prostitution seems like a strange argument to me.  Would what this man did be any less offensive if it had been legal?  Anymore moral?  

    If men want to play around, they should stay single.


    Comment in response to this (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:30:19 PM EST
    deleted, contained profanity. Also, please stay on topic.

    The wife. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:25:37 PM EST
    These poor "wives" all have the same look.
    That standing by their f-cked up husbands look.

    I feel for them. They don't deserve to be on display just because their husbands have to have their little press conference.


    That's considerably more likely. . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:00:14 PM EST
    to happen if you speak Danish.  Or French.

    I'd have some sympathy for that (none / 0) (#8)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:10:30 PM EST
    from someone who had not locked up prostitutes for a living.  

    Wow. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Iphie on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:33:51 PM EST
    You are on it! I'm sitting here in New York, watching local TV, and I didn't even know that yet.

    Apparently (none / 0) (#10)
    by Iphie on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:14:23 PM EST
    NY's Chief Judge Judith Kaye has been notified about a possible swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. This was reported on the local NBC channel. It was followed by a caution not to read too much into that fact.

    Lawyers from Paul Weiss? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:45:49 PM EST
    That's the Scooter Libby team.  Big guns.  Spitzer is taking no chances.  Maybe he's more worried about prosecution than I would have thought he needed to be.

    It's 2008, not 1998 (none / 0) (#28)
    by catfish on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:50:53 PM EST
    The public is more forgiving of stuff like this. He could survive.

    "Spitzer Sex Sting", Harper's Magazine (none / 0) (#30)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 12:08:19 AM EST
    Link: Harper's Story, by Scott Horton.

    Excerpt: "It looks like the Bush Justice Department just bagged themselves another Democratic Governor...There is a second tier of questions that needs to be examined with respect to the Spitzer case. They go to prosecutorial motivation and direction. Note that this prosecution was managed with staffers from the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice. This section is now at the center of a major scandal concerning politically directed prosecutions."

    My thoughts: So Spitz dipped his wick. Let's all zip up our pants and go home.


    He might have survived..... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 02:11:07 PM EST
    if he was a former defense attorney who defended clients charged with prostitution.

    But as a former prosecutor and AG who put people in jail for prostitution, he can not and should not survive.


    Not that I expect tears (none / 0) (#31)
    by facta non verba on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 12:12:03 AM EST
    but he is getting his just desserts. As a former Wall Street Equity Analyst, Eliot Spitzer made my life more difficult. By the end of his crusade against our "irrational exuberance" any time I wanted to talk my colleagues in investment banking, I had to do so through a compliance officer and each and every call. My emails were read and monitored and I lost the privilege of using email for my personal use. When one worked 12-15 hours a day that came to matter. I don't want to excuse the excesses of Henry Blodget or Mary Meeker but we all were not that way.

    I was fine that he was elected Governor but now his holier-than-thou attitude has come back to bite him. He has some nerve complaining about my salary when he is spending $3,100 an hour for his libido. And I will never ever again look at the Mayflower Hotel the same way. I wonder if they will charge extra for room 831.

    I read up Lt. Governor Patterson. I like him. Any disabled person in that capacity must be a superstar. I am sure that he will make a better Governor than Spitzer.

    Eliot worked at Paul Weiss (none / 0) (#32)
    by debcoop on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 01:00:22 AM EST
    as a young attorney.  These people are his friends.

    Get involved with a prostitute over state lines... (none / 0) (#33)
    by ctrenta on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:37:21 AM EST

    ... and get forced into retirement. Start a war on fabricated intelligence, wiretap ordinary Americans, violate the Geneva Convention and the U.N. convention on torture and you don't face retirement. Seems like our accountability standards (and/or priorities) are skewed don't you think?

    I still think we should focus more on Robert Wexler's investigations into impeachment for Bush and Cheney. That has meaning. The Spitzer scandal doesn't.  

    Ctrenta, very persuasive summation, thanks (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 05:55:05 PM EST