America's worst governor linked to hookers? Update: The Emperor's Club? Update: Spitzer to resign? Update: Spitzer apologizes; Update: Caught on federal wiretap; Update: Video added; no resignation; Update: Not indicted; Update: Hillary scrubs website of Spitzer references; Update: New details

First the illegal licenses debacle, then the Internet tax proposal, now this.

Wife and kids, so schadenfreude isn’t in order.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.

Mr. Spitzer, who was huddled with his top aides early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He is set to make an announcement about 2:15 this afternoon at his Manhattan office.

Mr. Spitzer, a first-term Democrat who pledged to bring ethics reform and end the often seamy ways of Albany, is married with three children…

Mr. Spitzer gained national attention when he served as attorney general with his relentless pursuit of Wall Street wrongdoing. As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

Nice to have a sex scandal for once that doesn’t involve a Republican, eh? He’s due to speak any minute. Video coming. Stand by.

Update: Flip coins a phrase.

Update: Not yet confirmed, but the word from the New York Sun is that the ring in question is the Emperor’s Club, which was indicted last week. The timing of Spitzer’s announcement suggests he’s trying to beat them to the punch. Here’s the website. Which lucky lady or ladies will be the subject of a Barbara Walters special going forward?

Update: Prosecutors in the Emperor’s Club case say some of the women charged $5,500 an hour. How did Spitz come up with that bread?

Update: Incredible. Fox News says “sources” claim Spitzer’s on his way out. Mind you, this was a guy touted as a potential Democratic presidential nominee not long ago.

Update: Lawhawk e-mails to say that Spitz’s father is a real estate mogul so $5,500 an hour isn’t out of the question.

Update: Spitz is a Hillary superdelegate. Think she’ll be getting any awkward questions over this about high-profile politicians who cheat on their wives?

Update: Man, is this moving fast. Now sources tell Fox that Spitzer’s been indicted. Some new details from the Times story:

The governor’s travel records show that he was in Washington in mid-February. One of the clients described in court papers arranged to meet with a prostitute who was part of the ring, the Emperors Club VIP on the night of Feb. 13.

Mr. Spitzer appeared on a CNBC television show at 7 a.m. the next morning. Later in the morning, he testified before a Congressional committee.

An affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan in connection with that case lists six conversations between the man, identified as Client 9, and a booking agent for the Emperors Club.

Update: Here’s the Fox News story claiming that Spitzer plans to resign.

Update: There was supposed to be a press conference at 2:15 but MM e-mails to say she’s seen nothing more than a brief livestream on the local NY stations of Spitzer apologizing without admitting culpability. Here’s her impromptu transcript:

“I apologize to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better…I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family”…No questions. No reference to the prostitution ring. No reference to resigning. No reference to indictment.

Update: Still more from the Times. Sloppy.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.

The wiretap recording, made during an investigation of a prostitution ring called Emperors Club VIP, captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9…

The affidavit says that Client 9 met with the woman in hotel room 871 but does not identify the hotel. Mr. Spitzer stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on Feb. 13, according to a source who was told of his travel arrangements. Room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel that evening was registered under the another name.

Update: Via Slublog, the worst may be yet to come. Note the reference to unsafe practices.


Update: Here’s the video. No resignation.
Update: Cavuto is reporting now that the resignation will come later today.Update: Sloppiness by Fox — it looks like Spitzer hasn’t been indicted but merely named as one of the clients in the indictment against the ringleaders of the prostitution ring. Indictment coming under the Mann Act, perhaps? Stay tuned.

Update (Ed): This turned into a hot topic on the Ed Morrissey Show this afternoon, with Jazz Shaw contributing updates. CBS corroborates Cavuto — and says that David Paterson could be governor by 7 pm tonight.

Update: Radar reports that Hillary’s campaign site is suddenly Spitzer-free.

Update: Via Townhall, “Big deal,” says Dershowitz.

Update: The Times scours the FBI affidavit for details on “Client 9’s” rendezvous with “Kristen.” He’d used the service before, it seems, and was interested in pre-paying for his next appointment.