Justice Department: Indicting Spitzer is Not in the “Public Interest”

Last March New York governor Eliot Spitzer resigned because of his involvement in a prostitution scandal. This is all well and good; I was among many others who called for Spitzer to resign. But should his resignation from office be enough? I think not.

Apparently federal prosecutors disagree.

Washington Post, November 7, 2008

Former New York governor Eliot L. Spitzer will not face criminal charges for his role in a prostitution scandal that drove him from office this year, prosecutors announced yesterday.

Investigators for the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service uncovered no evidence that Spitzer had misused public or campaign money to pay women employed by the Emperors Club VIP, a high-priced New York prostitution ring.

Justice Department guidelines disfavor indictments against clients of prostitution rings, even those who transport women across state lines to have sex in violation of the Mann Act. Spitzer acknowledged making payments to the service, which amounted to “acceptance of responsibility for his conduct,” said Michael J. Garcia, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“We have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

What “public interest” is ever served by prosecuting an individual who makes a peaceful business transaction with another consenting adult? But as long as there are vice squads throughout the country investigating and arresting individuals who happen not to be in positions of power who participate in activities such as prostitution, it seems to me that our public servants should be held to at least the same standard if not a higher standard.

And if the Justice Department “disfavors” indicting Johns who violate the Mann Act, this suggests to me that government officials can pick and choose the laws they wish to enforce and against whom they will enforce them (which does not surprise me).

So much for the rule of law!

I disagree with the Justice Department; there most certainly is a public interest being served when hypocrites in positions of power like Eliot Spitzer are treated like any other citizen of this country.

  • Paul

    I think when Nixon recited “Are we a nation of laws or of men?” our nation chose the latter.

    Pithy, I know, but how else do you explain the select enforcement of law; be it by signing statements or outright [lack of] enforcement and prosecution.

  • Aimee

    Must be nice to be above the law.

    This is yet another case of what’s good for the goose, IS NOT good for the gander.

    M.C. Hammer comes to mind when these public officials get away with anything and everything: “Can’t touch this”

    Can’t you just see Spitzer dancing side to side in his parachute pants?

  • Akston

    I’ve been trying to formulate the correct politician-whore joke for some time, but must move on. The actual details of such a joke are left as an exercise for the reader.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    Well, at least with a whore the customer is getting screwed. With politicians, we are all getting screwed.

    Is that where you were going with that Akston :)

  • Akston

    That’ll do nicely. :-)