The Daily Princetonian somehow got him on the horn last night and he pointedly refused to deny he was resigning. Now the NYT says the only question is the timing, i.e. how soon his lawyers can get the feds to agree not to prosecute him in return for his committing ritual career seppuku. The GOP leader in the state assembly’s giving him 48 hours to get out of dodge before they introduce impeachment proceedings but he’s just piggybacking on the people with the real leverage right now:
Mr. Spitzer has not been charged with a crime. But one law enforcement official who has been briefed on the case said that Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers would probably meet soon with federal prosecutors to discuss any possible legal exposure. The official said the discussions were likely to focus not on prostitution, but on how it was paid for: Whether the payments from Mr. Spitzer to the service were made in a way to conceal their purpose and source. That could amount to a crime called structuring, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
An interesting detail via the Times: While most of his inner circle was telling him to quit yesterday morning, one of the very few dissenters was … Mrs. Spitzer, who warned him not to be hasty. This is bizarre, too:
The governor learned that he had been implicated in the prostitution inquiry when a federal official contacted his office on Friday, according to the person briefed on the case. On Saturday night, he attended the Gridiron Club annual dinner, a political roast put on by Washington journalists, and appeared ebullient, according to people in attendance.
The governor informed his top aides on Sunday night and Monday morning of his involvement.
Is he really that good of an actor or had this tool so deluded himself in thinking he was above the law that he figured he had nothing to worry about? Given the type of strongarm tactics he’s notorious for, I’d love to know what, if anything, his people had to say to Keller and the Metro editors at the Times when they found out they were working on the story.
Oh, and as for George Fox, the friend whose name he used as an alias for his confab with “Kristen” in Room 871 and who’ll now be forever suspected of involvement in Spitz’s shenanigans: He appears to be completely blameless. Another innocent, f***ing steamrolled.
Update: Very curious. The link to the NYT piece citing his aides for the resignation rumor still works, but this article — with the same byline, and substantially identical to the first story except with a more reserved lede about Spitzer “weighing” resignation — has now appeared on the site. Are they backing off what the aides said?
Here’s the screencap in case that first piece magically disappears:
Update: ABC corroborates the first NYT report. He was supposed to be out last night but his lawyers told him to wait to give himself a bit of added leverage; the transition to Paterson’s already in the works.
Update: And round and round we go:
“He has not made up his mind,” a senior adviser to Mr. Spitzer, Lloyd Constantine, said. “It is more correct to say that he is not resigning.”
The assessment of the governor’s frame of mind by one of his closest associates conflicted with the general consensus in Albany, which is bracing for the downfall of New York’s top Democrat and the assumption of power by the state’s first African-American governor, David Paterson, who is in Albany.
Eh. According to the Times, Constantive was the only person besides Mrs. Spitzer at yesterday’s meeting to urge him not to resign. Probably wishful thinking on his part, or the belief that he can talk Spitz out of it.
Update: A source tells WNBC he used the Emperors Club for more than a year. At two or three grand a pop, how much money are we talking about here, exactly?
Update: Supposedly no announcement is coming today but Paterson has just now been spotted on his way to the state Capitol.