Maybe because I've been following the Don Siegelman case closely, but when I heard about Elliot Spitzer's pending indictment, something just didn't past the smell test. While he's admitted to involvement with a prostitution ring and I'm by no means absolving him or trying to diminish the charges, there are more than a few unresolved aspects of this that keep me from calling for his resignation.
Jane Hamsher has summed up these little niggling questions very well:
1. Why would the bank tell the IRS and not Spitzer himself if there was a suspicious transfer? Spitzer is a longtime client, a rich guy and the governor. We're talking thousands of dollars here, not millions. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that they spotted a "suspicious transfer" made by the governor, and that this is how things began. It's possible it was just ordinary paperwork the bank had to file with the government whenever some particular flag was raised, but if that's the case, why did the DoJ go to DefCon 3?
2. What is a USA doing prosecuting a prostitution case? This isn't normally what the feds spend their time with.
3. Mike Garcia is a Chertoff crony. Sources familiar with the investigation say that he sent a prosecution memo to DC two months ago asking for authority to indict a public figure (Spitzer). Which means they had their case made long before the wire tap of February 13. Why did they then include this line from that conversation in the complaint?
LEWIS continued that from what she had been told "he" (believed to be a reference to Client-9) "would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe -- you know -- I mean that...very basic things...."Kristen" responded: "I have a way of dealing with that...I'd be like listen dude, you really want the sex?...You know what I mean."
This salacious detail does not seem like it's necessary to make their case, and appears to be added for no other purpose than to destroy Spitzer's career.
Scott Horton (who covers the Siegelman case extensively) and Digby have similar questions, while Glenn Greenwald notes the double standard between the breathless media coverage of Spitzer's scandal and David Vitter. And Will Bunch looks at the incredible history of the Mann act.