Calls for Spitzer's Resignation as Details Emerge

Gov. Eliot Spitzer speaks in New York City with his wife, Silda, after it was reported that he has been involved in a prostitution ring. Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images hide caption

Gallery: Spouses in Scandal
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Read the Complaint

In partial transcripts that include "Client 9," the government details what it says is an interstate sex-for-money scheme.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer stayed out of the public eye Tuesday, a day after allegations surfaced that he spent thousands of dollars for a night with a call girl.

But that didn't stop the increasing pressure for the New York governor to step down. Three New York newspapers want him to resign. And a top state Republican is threatening to push for impeachment if Spitzer doesn't leave within 48 hours.

In order for articles of impeachment to get to the floor, there would first have to be support from the Democratic majority in the state Assembly.

The process would then have to gain at least two-thirds approval of the combined vote of the Republican-controlled Senate and the nine-member Court of Appeals to proceed to trial.

Two Democratic officials close to Spitzer say he hasn't decided whether to resign, and that he hasn't set a timetable for a decision.

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press Tuesday that the case grew out of a public corruption inquiry triggered by Spitzer's movement of cash to bank accounts operated by the call-girl ring.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, the official said that Spitzer was the initial target of the investigation, and that he was tracked using court-ordered wiretaps.

Investigators said the public-corruption unit of the U.S. attorney's office got involved after the IRS looked into a complaint of a potential violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, the government's main tool against money laundering.

The governor could potentially be charged with a crime called "structuring" — meaning that the payments were designed to hide their actual purpose.

After issuing a brief apology Monday, Spitzer made only a vague mention to his future, saying that he "must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family." He did not elaborate.

A Spitzer spokesman said that the governor has retained the Manhattan law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, one of the nation's biggest firms.

Spitzer was allegedly caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet in a Washington hotel room the night before Valentine's Day with a prostitute from a call-girl business known as the Emperor's Club V.I.P.

The governor has not been charged, and prosecutors would not comment on the case. But he is reportedly identified in an affidavit as Client 9.

Excerpts from the federal complaint that charges four individuals with operating a prostitution ring. The complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York. It is reported that Client-9 is New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Temeka Lewis is one of the four defendants. "Kristen" is an Emperors Club prostitute, the document says. QAT, mentioned in section 75, is a bank account customers used for payments.

b. February 13, 2008, Interstate Transportation From New York To Washington, D.C.
73. On February 11, 2008, at approximately 10:53 p.m., Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant ... sent a text message ... "Pls let me know if (Client-9's) `package' (believed to be a reference to a deposit of money sent by mail) arrives 2mrw. Appt would b on Wed."
74. On February 12, 2008, at approximately 2:37 p.m., Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant ... left a message for "Kristen" that the "deposit" had not arrived today, but that they should be able to do the trip if the deposit arrived tomorrow. ... Lewis and "Kristen" then discussed the time that "Kristen" would take the train from New York to Washington, D.C. Lewis told "Kristen" that there was a 5:39 p.m. train that arrived at 9:00 p.m., and that "Kristen" would be taking the train out of Penn Station. Lewis confirmed that Client-9 would be paying for everything — train tickets, cab fare from the hotel and back, mini bar or room service, travel time, and hotel. Lewis said that they would probably not know until 3 p.m. if the deposit arrived because Client-9 would not do traditional wire transferring.
75. At approximately 8:14 p.m., Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant, ... received a call from Client-9. During the call, Lewis told Client-9 that the "package" did not arrive today. Lewis asked Client-9 if there was a return address on the envelope, and Client-9 said no. Lewis asked: "You had QAT ...," and Client-9 said: "Yup, same as in the past, no question about it." Lewis asked Client-9 what time he was interested in having the appointment tomorrow. Clinet-9 told her 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. Lewis told Client-9 to call her back in five minutes....
(Parts 76-77 refer to discussion of the delay in the "package.")
78. At approximately 3:20 p.m. Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant ... received a call from Client-9. During the call, Lewis told Client-9 that they were still trying to determine if his deposit had arrived. Client-9 told Lewis that he had made a reservation at the hotel, and had paid for it in his name. Client-9 said that there would be a key waiting for her, and told Lewis that what he had on account with her covered the "transportation" (believed to be a reference to the cost of the trainfare for "Kristen" from New York to Washington, D.C.). Lewis said that she would try to make it work ...
(Part 78 concludes with a text message to Lewis stating "(P)ackage arrived. Pls be sure he rsvp hotel." Part 79 details train information sent to "Kristen.")
80. At approximately 4:58 p.m. Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant ... told Client-9 that his package arrived today, and Client-9 said good. Lewis asked Client-9 what time he was expecting to have the appointment. Client-9 told Lewis maybe 10:00 p.m. or so, and asked who it was. Lewis said it was "Kristen," and Client-9 said "great, okay, wonderful." Lewis told Client-9 that she would give him a final price later ...
(Part 81 includes discussion with Client-9 on payment.)
82. At approximately 8:47 p.m. Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant ... received a call from Client-9. During the call, Client-9 told Lewis to tell "Kristen" to go to the hotel and go to room 871. Client-9 told Lewis that the door would be open. ... Client-9 asked Lewis to remind him what "Kristen" looked like, and Lewis said that she was an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds. Client-9 said that she should go straight to 871, and if for any reason it did not work out, she should call Lewis.
(Parts 83 and 84 concern "Kristen" telling Lewis that she is in the hotel room, and more discussion of payment.)
85. On February 14, 2008, at approximately 12:02 a.m., Temeka Rachelle Lewis, a/k/a/ "Rachelle," the defendant, received a call from "Kristen." ... Lewis asked "Kristen" how she thought the appointment went, and "Kristen" said that she thought it went very well. Lewis asked "Kristen" how much she collected, and "Kristen" said $4,300. "Kristen" said that she liked him, and that she did not think he was difficult. "Kristen" stated: "I don't think he's difficult. I mean it's just kind of like ... whatever ... I'm here for a purpose. I know what my purpose is. I'm not a ... moron, you know what I mean. So maybe that's why girls maybe think they're difficult..." "Kristen" continued: "That's what it is, because you're here for a purpose. Let's not get it twisted — I know what I do, you know." Lewis responded: "You look at it very uniquely, because. ... no one ever says it that way." 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." Near the end of the call, Lewis and "Kristen" discussed "Kristen's" departure via Amtrak, the room that Client-9 had provided for "Kristen," and "Kristen's" share of the cash that Client-9 had provided to her.

From NPR reports and the Associated Press.

Spitzer Apologizes After Prostitution Case Surfaces

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer holds a news conference in New York City with his wife, Silda. i

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer holds a news conference in New York City with his wife, Silda, by his side after it was announced that he has been involved in a prostitution ring. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer holds a news conference in New York City with his wife, Silda.

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer holds a news conference in New York City with his wife, Silda, by his side after it was announced that he has been involved in a prostitution ring.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images


Eliot Spitzer


Age: 48. Born New York City.

Family: Married to Silda Wall Spitzer, a Harvard Law School graduate and lawyer in the nonprofit sector. The couple has three daughters, ages 17, 15 and 13.

Education: Princeton University, 1981; Harvard Law School, 1984.

Experience: Law clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet, 1984-85; private law practice, 1985-86; assistant district attorney in Manhattan, 1986-92; chief of labor racketeering unit of Manhattan district attorney's office, 1991-92; private law practice, 1992-1998; attorney general, 1999-2006; governor, 2007-present.

As Governor: Elected with a historic 69 percent of the vote. Agenda stalled amid political scandal and polls that showed most New Yorkers would not vote for him again as governor. (Two aides disciplined for using state police to track the movements of a Spitzer political rival).

Pushed through moderate reforms on the budget, ethics and workers compensation. A signature effort, campaign finance, languished.

— Source: The Associated Press

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has allegedly been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute. Last week, prosecutors charged four people with running a prostitution ring; Spitzer was reportedly one of its clients at a Washington, D.C., hotel last month.

To the public, Spitzer, a Democrat, is known as an upright, crusading politician who built his career on rooting out corruption. But in an affidavit disclosed Monday he is identified simply as "Client 9," allegedly part of a prostitution ring that stretched from Los Angeles to Paris.

Spitzer's involvement in the ring was caught on a federal wiretap as part of an investigation opened in recent months, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

After news of the allegations first broke Monday afternoon, it took political opponents only minutes to call for Spitzer's resignation. But the first-term governor, in a hastily called appearance at his Manhattan office, said nothing about his political future.

Speaking about what he termed a "private matter," Spitzer said he "acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong." With his wife, Silda, at his side, Spitzer added, "I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better."

Spitzer, 48, built his political reputation fighting corruption, including several high-profile scuffles with Wall Street while serving as attorney general. In 2004, he helped lead an investigation of an escort service in New York City that resulted in the arrest of 18 people on charges of promoting prostitution and related charges.

Time magazine named him "Crusader of the Year" when he was attorney general and the tabloids proclaimed him "Eliot Ness," after the "Untouchables" Mob-buster of the 1930s.

The alleged prostitution ring, identified in court papers as the Emperors Club VIP, arranged meetings between wealthy men and more than 50 prostitutes in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris, prosecutors said.

"Today's news that Eliot Spitzer was likely involved with a prostitution ring and his refusal to deny it leads to one inescapable conclusion: He has disgraced his office and the entire state of New York," said Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco. "He should resign his office immediately."

If Spitzer were to resign, he would be succeeded by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, also a Democrat.

Transcript of Spitzer's statement:

"Good afternoon.
"For the past nine years, eight years as attorney general, and one as governor, I have tried to uphold a vision of progressive politics that would rebuild New York and create opportunity for all. We sought to bring real change to New York and that will continue.
"Today I want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.
"I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good, and doing what is best for the state of New York. But I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.
"I will not be taking questions. Thank you very much. I will report back to you in short order. Thank you very much."

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