U.S. Attorney Says No Deal With Spitzer...Yet

U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia has released a statement saying that no deal on criminal charges has been reached with Gov.Eliot Spitzer.

Did anyone else notice Libby lawyer Ted Wells entering the press room right ahead of Spitzer?

Shorter version: Negotiations are ongoing.

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    A deal to plead to criminal charges... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 11:45:07 AM EST
    ...arising from consensual sex.

    A bigger waste of time and money you'd be hard, ahem, pressed to find.

    We are a truly silly society.

    Yes, someone's silly (none / 0) (#2)
    by Beldar on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 11:48:22 AM EST
    We are a silly society when partisanship blinds us to basic facts. Consensual sex didn't trigger this investigation.  A financial crime related to money-laundering did.

    I think you mean (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 11:50:32 AM EST
    a financial transaction, not a financial crime. It has not been established a crime was committed.

    Look in a mirror (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 11:56:30 AM EST
    As far as I can see the structuring was to pay for the sex without being discovered.

    What other money laundering did Spitzer actually do?

    All things considered, is this the best use of tax payer money?

    This is a case of I don't want to know if he is paying for high priced hookers and I don't want federal dollars spent in prosecuting him or any other politician (GOP or Democrat for this offense. Especially when they have resigned.

    Do you want to put him in jail for paying for high priced hookers?

    Do you want him to make restitution for paying for high priced hookers? How would that be accomplished?

    Do you want him doing community service for paying for high priced hookers?

    What pound of flesh would satisfy you?


    There was no "structuring" (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:08:00 PM EST
    in the sense of the statute or the regs.

    The only arguable violation of a criminal statute here, was of the Mann Act.


    that's going too far (none / 0) (#7)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:11:24 PM EST
     That he would have a strong defense is not close to the same thing as saying the government could not build a case strong enough both to establish probable cause and to withstand a motion JOA.

    I have only seen press speculation (none / 0) (#13)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:37:14 PM EST
    and the court documents available on-line.  Those do not indicate any structuring - if there was a sexual encounter, the price therefor would have been, given "Kristen's" alleged rates, less than should have triggered a structuring inquiry.

    this isn't difficult (none / 0) (#16)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:47:01 PM EST
      Structuring essentially means arranging a series of transactions to evade reporting requirements which are triggered when a transaction is 10K or greater. Several sources have reported the Feds have evidence he did  engage in a series of transactions, each a transfer to the front for the pimps,  the aggregate of which is greater than 10K.

      That could be the basis for the structuring charge. His lack of intent would be a defense and likely a very good one, but in this world you don't have a divine right to have no charges brought just because you say you lacked intent.


    Eliot Spitzer.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:33:20 PM EST
    thinks, or has thought in the past, that prostitution prosecutions are a great way to spend taxpayer money.  His chickens have come home.

    As for me, I've always thought it was a tremendous waste of money, and an unnecessary infringement on the liberty of prostitutes and johns.


    Well, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 11:56:45 AM EST
      actually, the structuring/money laundering theories are by far the weakest based on the information made public. It appears  true that SUUSPICION of that is what triggered the investigation but, even assuming he made multiplre transfers in a short time frame which totalled more than $10K in the aggreagate, structuring  would be a really tough sell to a jury  his argument that he was not intentionally structuring to evade reporting requirements is strong, though not unassailable, and a lot of people would be hesitant to convict a man of a pretty arcane law using his own money  when the use was just hookers.

       I'd think the interstate travel of the hooker which he appears to have arranged and financed is probably the federal charge he'd be most likely to lose at trial


    they won't charge the mann act (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:26:46 PM EST
    they never do in these cases, it would be selective prosecution. They'd also have to charge the customer in Chicago who had a woman flown from LAX to O'Hare. (See affidavit for complaint.)

    If the wires or cash payments weren't for the same transaction and occurred weeks or months apart, I think they have no structuring case.

    If his intent in moving the money the way he did wasn't to evade reporting requirements (and remember, he used his own name) but to keep his wife from noticing big withdrawals, then he didn't have the requisite intent for the crime.


    The Mann Act (none / 0) (#15)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:41:47 PM EST
    is but one possibility. § 1952 outlaws interstate or foreign travel in aid of racketeering enterprises and specifically includes prostitution as a "racketeering" enterprise.

      I doubt he ends up getting charged with any federal offense but they will get something out of him before they agree to forego federal charges. Here, where he  did not just pay a fee for services but specically agreed to cover actual expenses (his stupidity sems boundless considering his profession and position) he could be exposed to substantive charges as a principal. If not aiding and abetting or even conspiracy charges are likely to be mentioned to his lawyers if they get too blustery with the Feds.



    I knew that guy... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Alvord on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:23:57 PM EST
    ... looked familiar.

    Did anyone else notice Libby lawyer Ted Wells entering the press room right ahead of Spitzer?

    Yup. Jeralyn did, too. (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:37:58 PM EST
    hey narius.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:36:41 PM EST
    It's snowing in hell because I agree 100%.  I've been saying ad naseum that he is welcome to stay provided he pardons all the prostitutes of NY currently in jail or on probation, and begins advocating for the repeal of prostitution prohibition.