Spitzer Being Investigated for Using Campaign Funds In Meetings With Prostitutes

Things might be looking worse for Spitzer. While there was never any doubt that he could not survive politically, it is not yet clear as to what legal charges he will face. If this was limited to a victimless crime such as prostitution, and even if there was some technically illegal movement of his personal funds to try to hide this, there might not be much drive for prosecution. We have a totally different situation if this involves funds beyond his personal funds. The New York Times reports that he is being investigated for having illegally used campaign funds:

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Gov. Eliot Spitzer used campaign funds in connection with his meetings with prostitutes, including payments for hotels or ground transportation, three people with knowledge of the investigation said.

Prosecutors have asked the governor’s lawyers about the travel arrangements for three trips, including his Feb. 13 rendezvous with a prostitute at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan has also asked about the governor’s use of car services during trips to Washington…

If campaign money was involved, it would expand the scope of a criminal inquiry, because it is illegal to use campaign money for personal expenses. Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, has championed a campaign finance reform proposal for much of his tenure and often excoriated Republicans, saying their fund-raising practices were responsible for the “haze and smog surrounding the capital.”

Several people involved in the campaign said on Thursday that they did not believe campaign money had been misused. Jonathan Rosen, a spokesman for Spitzer 2010, the governor’s campaign committee, and the Excelsior Committee, his political action committee, said neither organization had received subpoenas from federal authorities.

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