DSK Case Collapse: Lawyers, Phone Calls & Money the Shit Hits The Fan

It is not often you see the total implosion of a major criminal case in quite such a spectacular fashion as we have witnessed with the Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) case in the last 24 plus hours. As I said Thursday night when the news first broke of the evidentiary infirmities in relation to the putative victim were first made public in the New York Times; there is simply no way for the prosecution to recover, the criminal case is dead toast.

Today, the letter from the Manhattan DA’s Office to DSK’s attorneys detailing the Brady material disclosures gutting their victim’s credibility was made public. It is, to say the least, shocking. But what has transpired since then has been nothing short of stunning.

As expected, DSK had his release conditions modified to OR (own recognizance) and all restrictions, save for not leaving the United States, removed. If you do not think that is a crystal clear sign of just how much trouble the prosecution is in, then you do not know criminal trial law.

But the process of dismissing the case cannot take too long, DSK’s attorneys simply will not sanction that and, trust me, they have already mapped out an attack strategy should they need it. My guess is there will be a blitzkrieg should there not be a dismissal by next Wednesday. and if they did not have enough ammunition as of last night, the clincher was revealed late Friday night.

Once again, the breaking story comes from the New York Times:

Twenty-eight hours after a housekeeper at the Sofitel New York said she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she spoke by phone to a boyfriend in an immigration jail in Arizona.

Investigators with the Manhattan district attorney’s office learned the call had been recorded and had it translated from a “unique dialect of Fulani,” a language from the woman’s native country, Guinea, according to a well-placed law enforcement official.

When the conversation was translated — a job completed only this Wednesday — investigators were alarmed: “She says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing,’ ” the official said.

It was another ground-shifting revelation in a continuing series of troubling statements, fabrications and associations that unraveled the case and upended prosecutors’ view of the woman. Once, in the hours after she said she was attacked on May 14, she’d been a “very pious, devout Muslim woman, shattered by this experience,” the official said — a seemingly ideal witness.

Little by little, her credibility as a witness crumbled — she had lied about her immigration, about being gang raped in Guinea, about her experiences in her homeland and about her finances, according to two law enforcement officials. She had been linked to people suspected of crimes. She changed her account of what she did immediately after the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Sit-downs with prosecutors became tense, even angry. Initially composed, she later collapsed in tears and got down on the floor during questioning. She became unavailable to investigators from the district attorney’s office for days at a time.

Now the phone call raised yet another problem: it seemed as if she hoped to profit from whatever occurred in Suite 2806.

Game. Set. Match. There is so, so, much more of course (really, read the whole sordid set of facts) that absolutely guts any possibility of proceeding with the woman as a criminal victim against DSK but, seriously, that part of the equation is just done and over.

The criminal charges will be dismissed, the only question is why they have not been already. My guess is twofold, first, Cy Vance and the Manhattan DA’s Office are trying to maximize whatever insulation from liability they can and, second, they are trying to decide how to proceed as to the woman who was formerly the “victim”. By this I mean ascertaining whether she will be detained and deported, arrested and prosecuted, or rolled to be a state witness on substantial crimes involving the current DSK case and/or the drug gang she appears to be involved with. But those are pretty much the options at this point.

That accounts for the phone calls, money and shit hitting the fan portion of the post title homage to the late, great, Warren Zevon. That leaves the lawyers, and whoo boy do we have some lawyering to talk about.

First off, lost in the sturm und drang of the criminal case machinations is that the victim’s original lead legal team, the seemingly media slick PI attorney Jeffrey Shapiro (who, early, was literally all over the network morning shows, CNN and MSNBC), and well respected civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, both very abruptly left the case on or about June 8.

The new lead attorney, Thompson Wigdor, appears to have been involved from early on for the victim, but were very much in the background. The firm seems to be involved in mostly worker, employer and union cases. They used to be called Thompson, Wigdor & Gilly until partner Gilly, and an associate under him, got the firm all sanctioned up for dishonest and fraudulent misconduct on the court in another case. Gilly and associate left Thompson Wigdor, notably, at almost precisely the same time Shapiro and Siegel suddenly withdrew from representing the victim and Thompson Wigdor took over primary representation, i.e. on or about June 7-8.

There are no definitive statements from either Shapiro or Siegel, but the circumstances beg the question whether Shapiro and Siegel bailed because they realized how screwed up and dishonest their client was turning out to be. Quite frankly, were i in their shoes, that is exactly what I would do. The better question is what in the world is Ken Thompson and his firm doing at this point.

Thompson is not only still on board with the victim, but immediately following DSK’s release hearing, Thompson stood on the courthouse steps and doubled down on the crazy behind his client in one of the more amazing press conferences I have ever seen in my life. Thompson vouched for a client that had just been established to be completely without credibility or veracity, brutally attacked Cy Vance and the Manhattan DA’s Office, misrepresented critical areas of fact and flat out promised his client would be personally addressing the press with a full statement. No attorney in his right mind would put a client such as this one, who is already completely impeached with not just false statements, but flat out perjury, in front of the press and on the public record. It is insane.

Between the DA’s Office of Cy Vance and the battery of attorneys that this supposed minimum wage maid had in tow, there is some of the oddest and most questionable lawyering imaginable afoot. I have some further thoughts on this, and how it may fit into the even larger picture dynamics surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but that will wait until a few more things sort out. One thing is for sure, this is a long ways from being over; stay tuned.

199 replies
  1. emptywheel says:


    Pretty sure Thompson Wigdor is not a new lawyer for her–as you suggest they were in the background, but they’re represented her the whole time.

  2. emptywheel says:

    Wow. This, from the NYT, is alarming on several counts.

    Meanwhile, as the interviews continued, the relationship grew more strained. During a meeting at the district attorney’s office on June 9, the woman wept as she was questioned closely after Mr. Thompson had left for another engagement. Her 15-year-old daughter, who was waiting outside, noticed that her mother was upset and called a relative to alert Mr. Thompson. The lawyer called the prosecutors and demanded an end to the questioning. He said on Friday that the daughter heard them shout, “Get out! Get out! Get out of here!” at her mother. The authorities say there was no shouting.

    First, because that’s precisely the timeframe when the other lawyers ditched the case. But what was Thompson doing leaving his client with the prosecutors alone?

    But is rather alarming to hear that kind of violent language from the prosecutors.

  3. emptywheel says:

    Another key detail, also from the NYT. Even her revised story about what she did after the incident is false.

    And yet, even this version was not corroborated by card-key data obtained by investigators on Friday, which indicated that the housekeeper went to the other room only after she had finished Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room.

    Though why they’re just checking what her keycard did after the event, I really would like to know.

  4. Phoenix Woman says:

    Between the DA’s Office of Cy Vance and the battery of attorneys that this supposed minimum wage maid had in tow, there is some of the oddest and most questionable lawyering imaginable afoot.

    It just occurred to me:

    Let’s posit that the woman was put up to it by persons with a vested interest in removing DSK from the IMF and/or the race to replace Sarkozy.

    Making sure the woman’s testimony cannot be trusted would be a very good way of guarding against what might happen should she decide to spill the beans about who got her to do what she did.

    • harpie says:

      I very much suspect this is what happened. She could have been extorted [correct word?] because someone knew her asylum application was totally fraudulent. I’m probably not making much sense, but I think you’re right.

    • IntelVet says:

      Let’s posit that the woman was put up to it by persons with a vested interest in removing DSK from the IMF and/or the race to replace Sarkozy.

      Jeeze, ya think? :-) Victory for them. They got what they wanted, even to the removal of a potential blackmailer.

      Also, bmaz, is it normal to wiretap a person’s telephone in that manner, and, not just as to contact information but content?

        • IntelVet says:

          All prison conversations are taped, to make sure inmates aren’t doing deals on the inside.

          Oh darn. I knew that.

          It is the monitoring that seems pretty expensive. Would the prison have turned the tapes over to the DA only for interpretation or would the tapes have been sent to a number receivers, including the defense? or, were the tapes requested by someone?

          Sorry to be so ignorant but the intel part of me is intrigued.

        • dakoda says:

          Sure. But how did they know who was on the other end and who exactly she was. Just maybe they tapped her phone. Also when is this so called tape going to be released.

  5. JTMinIA says:

    I heard a lawyer for the “victim” spouting off on NPR yesterday and was struck by how forcefully he was making claims as to what DSK did. He wasn’t using any weasel words like “we allege” or “my client says…”; he was making very clear claims in the first person about what DSK did in the hotel room. It was somewhat convincing at the time.

    Remembering that now, I have to ask: can the lawyer for a putative victim be sued for slander? (I’m not talking about suing the “victim” for what she said to the police, etc; I’m talking about suing her lawyer for what he said in public.)

    • harpie says:

      Didn’t something similar happen in regard to some lacross players at Duke several years ago?

      • JTMinIA says:

        Well, Nifong, the prosecutor was disbarred, IIRC, for what he did. What I’m asking about here is whether anything can be done to the lawyer for the supposed victim.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, yes, the lawyer could be sued for slander if it could be established that he knew or had reason to know that what he was saying was false. Lawyer’s statements have great protection in the course of a legal proceeding, such as in court or in case pleadings, but that does not apply to Thompson here.

      As to SaltInWound’s question, the answer is unequivocally DSK. The victim has got shit, she cannot succeed in any forum anywhere. There are only two types of legal proceedings that are on her immediate horizon, and that is criminal prosecution and/or deportation. She could be a nominal defendant should DSK bring suit against the NY cops and DA’s office (although the DAs are still a tough mark as they possess presumptions and qualified immunities).

        • bmaz says:

          Who knows about prior, but the spectacle yesterday is more than sufficient in my book to damn Thompson, for a host of reasons (but primarily I am just aghast at it). That aside, while it was damning, getting a damage judgment on it is another thing altogether, even if not totally out of the question.

    • emptywheel says:

      DSK, IMO.

      There’s very little forensic evidence. And her presence in his suite after the event makes a key bit of evidence–his semen all over the suite–pretty much useless.

      They’ve got a bruised vagina, ripped nylons, and her word, which for better or worse is now useless in court.

      • Phoenix Woman says:

        Let’s play the “Cui bono?” game:

        — It’s played out well if you’re a Greece- and Ireland-hating IMF bigwig who wanted DSK gone. They got what they wanted, and it’s irreversible: DSK’s gone, Greece is being sold off to the highest bidder as the MOTUs prepare to grind it under their heels, and while Ireland hasn’t yet been destroyed, there’s not much keeping the IMF from doing so now.

        — If you’re Nicholas Sarkozy, not so much. And if Sarko or someone in his crew can be linked to it, hello President DSK.

        • phred says:

          PW, I have not been following DSK very closely (either in terms of his hotel proclivities or preferred IMF policies), so for those of us who are oblivious…

          Would you please clarify your comments about Greece and Ireland? I thought the IMF had been champing at the bit for “austerity” for those countries for a long time now. Presumably, DSK would have been a part of that. Are you suggesting that DSK opposed those efforts?

          • papau says:

            Germany pushes punishment, sell off the country to German rich, DSK pushed better tax collection and austerity budgets over longer periods so as to not cause major depression – offering IMF billions to close hole the German’s opened.

            Both were into austerity – but to different degrees.

          • emptywheel says:

            DSK had come out in favor of restructuring Ireland’s debts and also said there should be limits to austerity in Greece. (In one incident the ECB w/Geithner’s backing had pushed back hard against IMF).

            He wasn’t advocating massive default, which would be the right answer on this stuff. But he was asking the banks to take some responsibility for this, rather than the full bailouts they’ve been getting.

            • phred says:

              Thanks, again. That really does make this look more like a Spitzer sort of take down by the banking cartel, then eh? Especially with Timmeh not waiting to start demanding his appointment as interim head of IMF.

            • bluedot12 says:

              Those are precisely the sort of things that make me think this really could be a conspiracy, but then I left my tin hat home.

  6. Bluetoe2 says:

    This could be the only time in U.S. history when right wingers have come to the defense of a Socialist.

  7. silversiren says:

    The Times story says the police found evidence of semen on the wall and on the floor. Pardon my dumbness here but “on the wall”? Really? Doesn’t sound consensual to me. So the woman has some baggage, but does that automatically negate her claim?

    What am I missing besides the double standard?

    • JTMinIA says:

      > “The Times story says the police found evidence of semen on the wall and on the floor. Pardon my dumbness here but “on the wall”? Really? Doesn’t sound consensual to me.”

      Forgive me, but you lack imagination. When my wife and I are in certain moods, the walls are fair game.

    • bmaz says:

      That sounds more like an evidence plant than it necessarily does evidence of non-consent. Not to mention that since the woman herself destroyed all credibility of any evidence in DSK’s room by reentering and “cleaning” it, that evidence does not say squat about anything.

    • papau says:

      My thought also.

      The hospital evidence showed violent rape, the room evidence with DNA on the wall showed sex in a way that would strain an old mans back if he was not totally into the “game”.

      The idea that because she is an illegal, lied about being religious, worked the sex trade, and knew and was used by money laundering folks this makes her not able to be a victim of rape seems very very wrong.

      In real world trials it may well be true that conviction by jury is impossible based on our bias against sex workers, but to say the above makes DSK innocent is wrong.

      Meanwhile most of Europe assumed she had set up DSK in response to blackmail over her immigration status – blackmailed by the conservatives in France and elsewhere because he led in the polls for President of France and was pushing for a gentle approach to Greece (which by the way is home to the population that is the 2nd hardest working in the world, the South Koreans being first, – a bit contrary to German nonsense about “lazy” folks that must be punished as stated after Germany took $30 billion of US Taxpayer money for its Banks via TARP and the 100% AIG bailout of liabilities valued at much less than 100%). The conservatives are getting what they demanded – a fire sale of Greek public assets – so the follow the money theory says DSK was set up.

      • JTMinIA says:

        > “The hospital evidence showed violent rape….”

        BS. It showed evidence consistent with violent rape, amongst other things. Just stop.

        • papau says:

          Ok – I see rape – you see “consistent with rape”

          and we are back to he said/she said – where DSK’s rep as a predator and hers as a liar looking for money go at it.

          A jury question is it not?

          • bluedot12 says:

            No, not in my opinion. What evidence is there for a jury to consider? Why not put her on trial for extortion? Neither of these people are trustworthy. Best thing is to let it go — perhaps in a few days after the DA wraps up the investigation to be sure nothing else surfaces.

          • bmaz says:

            Baloney, he was charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault, which is commonly known as rape, in addition to attempted sexual assault and sexual abuse.

            • Evelyn says:

              The counts include two of committing a criminal sexual act, one of attempted rape, one of unlawful imprisonment, two of sexual abuse and one of forcible touching.

              “Herewith is the statement in the charge sheet against Strauss-Kahn testified to by Detective Steven Lane of the Manhattan Special Victims Squad after taking evidence from a 32-year-old chambermaid:

              “‘The defendant engaged in oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion; the defendant attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion; the defendant subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion; the defendant restrained another person; the defendant subjected another person to sexual contact without the latter’s consent; and in that the defendant intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touched the sexual and intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading and abusing such person, and for the purpose of gratifying the defendant’s sexual desire.'”

                • Evelyn says:

                  New York Penal – Article 130 – § 130.65 Sexual Abuse in the First Degree

                  § 130.65 Sexual abuse in the first degree.
                  A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when he or she
                  subjects another person to sexual contact:
                  1. By forcible compulsion; or
                  2. When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being
                  physically helpless; or
                  3. When the other person is less than eleven years old.
                  Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony.

                    • Evelyn says:

                      You say “Here is the initial sheet on DSK. The top counts are two counts of first degree sexual assault, also known as rape, just as I said.”

                      According to the charge sheet you quote, the top two counts you refer to as rape are defined as:

                      § 130.50 Criminal sexual act in the first degree.
                      A person is guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree when he
                      or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with
                      another person:
                      1. By forcible compulsion;

                      That’s not what is commonly known as rape. He was, however, charged with one count of attempted rape under:

                      § 130.35 Rape in the first degree.
                      A person is guilty of rape in the first degree when he or she engages
                      in sexual intercourse with another person:
                      1. By forcible compulsion

                    • JTMinIA says:

                      Given that it’s a holiday weekend and all, shouldn’t you be guarding your bridge?

                    • JTMinIA says:

                      It’s your sandbox, of course, so I apologize. But when I see all errors in one direction, I lose patience.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      All I ask is that people argue in good faith and reasonably respectfully. She seems to be doing that.

                      Rape is a terribly emotional issue, rightly so. It’s hard getting from that emotion to a rational discussion of it. But it is worth taking the time to try.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I think the issue is clouded by the fact that NY has a separate statute in which the actual word “rape” is contained in the description, and that pertains to vaginal intercourse. But both it and the statute DSK is charged with as referenced above are considered first degree sexual offenses, are classified as B level felonies, and are colloquially referred to by most as rape. I can see how Evelyn could in good faith make her argument; however it is contrary to the common practice and general nomenclature used by those in the field, which generally considers non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal sex as a rape.

                    • earlofhuntingdon says:

                      I suspect that’s true, regardless of whether you ask estranged spouses in the bedroom; victims of date rape in the car, fraternity or sorority house; or the guy still on the floor in the prison laundry. Which orifice is violated doesn’t really mean much compared to the violence and predation of which rape is a symptom.

                    • fatster says:

                      Beautifully put, EOH. And don’t forget that rape is also used by torturers (whether government-employed or not).

                    • bmaz says:

                      Perhaps you hail from somewhere far from where I do; however, where I come from forced sex, whether oral, anal or vaginal falls within the common colloquial definition of rape. But, hey, different strokes for different folks. So to speak…..

      • emptywheel says:

        You’re misstating the evidence here.

        1) The only hospital evidence is a bruised vagina. (She also had torn nylons.)

        2) The semen on the walls is useless evidence bc she was at the scene of the crime after DSK was. (And lied about that fact.)

        3) It’s not that she lied about being religious. It is, first of all, that she by her own admission has lied (very credibly) about being raped, and she did so to obtain a benefit. She also lied about a number of other issues on her sworn asylum app. And she lied to commit tax fraud and housing fraud. And she lied on at least one key point about what happened.

        All that might not matter if the forensics were stronger, but it seems like the key piece of evidence not tainted by her presence in the room alone is her bruised vagina.

  8. pieceofcake says:

    dear lawyer (you are one?) – that’s why some people develop this allergy against the rule of law -(‘im allgemeinen’) und lawyers (‘im besonderen”) because they (the lawyers) – tend to concentrate 100 percent on all kind of ‘evidentiary infirmities’.

  9. orionATL says:

    independent of “the maid’s tale”,

    let’s not lose sight of don domiques’
    reputation for a sordid history with women and the fact that that reputation belongs to a high-level official and the fact we are not dealing with love and sex,i.e., with an affair.

    • JTMinIA says:

      Com’on. Please let’s not bring DSK’s “history” in as evidence either way. Think about it. Yes, a “history” like his makes the original story more believable, but that doesn’t help one decide between “he did it” vs “he was set up.” When you frame people, you don’t frame them for something that isn’t plausible. You frame them for something that the lazy media and Great Unwashed will believe. And with regard to the third option – which has been DSK’s version from the start, IIRC, and which I’m back to believing is most likely – having a “history” fits well with coming out of the shower, propositioning a maid, and having consensual sex as a way to start your excessively powerful white male day.

      As much as I love a good Bldg-7 or Trig-is-Bristol’s-kid story, my guess is that there is no deep conspiracy here. My guess is that Timmeh et al. just took the opportunity that presented itself when a slightly whacky maid did something very silly.

      • orionATL says:

        You missed my point entirely.

        The issue I raised was raised outside any narrow legal concerns about credibility.

        There’s a wider world of which the law is but an oft-manipulated part.

        • emptywheel says:

          OK, then I am confused what you’re getting at.

          We don’t know whether a rape occurred or not–and at this point are likely only to know for sure if we prove it did not occur, which is unlikely. That’s independent of the law.

          Or are you pointing to the global implications of this?

          • orionATL says:

            “There is a wider world of which the law is but an oft-manipulated part.” – or something like that.

            If you were sensing in my speech my sympathies for the less powerful, you were correct.

            • emptywheel says:

              Right. But the really less powerful people being hurt by this, perhaps unnecessarily, are the Greeks, who will now go through another year of austerity before their country defaults.

      • emptywheel says:

        Oh, I think DSK’s past absolutely is fair game here.

        But that only gets you to two completely non-credible witnesses with contradictory stories and evidence that is either tainted or indefinitive.

        Which is probably why DSK has not yet been exonerated, but why everyone believes this case will be dismissed.

        And FWIW, I don’t think that was DSK’s story from the start. He took a bit of time before he admitted a sex act had occurred.

        • JTMinIA says:

          To the extent that DSK’s history is fair game, it argues, statistically, against rape. Powerful white males with a history of sexual indiscretions are less likely to rape. To the extent that there are two motivations for rape, sexual and power-related, white males with a history of “successes” are less likely to “take” sex when they can get it without coercion and they do not need rape to gratify their need for power. Or, expressed in less gentle terms, when a guy’s day job allows him to f*&% entire African countries, he is much less likely to spend his leisure hours doing it one person at a time.

          • emptywheel says:


            Fair enough.

            That said, I’m happy to talk about what a lecherous asshole DSK is. I think it wrong to paint either side as honorable/clean here.

            Because once you do that, you realize it comes down to the very thing evidence in this case.

        • papau says:

          Spot on – I agree.

          Meanwhile the French conservative’s conspiracy/set-up via blackmail idea will hang out there forever as no government will ever investigate it.

    • emptywheel says:

      We have two completely non-credible witnesses with different stories about a sex act.

      But the point here is that there are also prosecutors. And aside form the exposure they’re already under in tripping this too soon, they simply can’t take a case w/o evidence. And here’s what the evidence is:

      A bruised vagina
      Torn pantyhose

      Neither of those are, independently, evidence of rape.

      If the alleged victim could be put on the stand, it might be different. But she can’t.

      • orionATL says:

        As with jtninia at 35,

        You missed my (wider) point entirely.

        See last sentence of #46.

        • emptywheel says:

          Because it is possible that she spat into a cup and then, when she was back in the room, spread it around.

          That’s why her going back into the room–and hiding that fact for so long–is so damaging to the case, whether she’s telling the truth or not. Because evidence is only so good as the proof that it has not been tampered with by anyone. And since she was the first person to be at the crime scene from which that evidence was taken, the prosecutors can’t ensure the evidence wasn’t tampered with. THey could introduce it at trial, but DSK’s lawyers would blow it out of the water AND it would allow them to harp on her changing testimony about being in the room in the first place.

          • Evelyn says:

            “Because it is possible that she spat into a cup and then, when she was back in the room, spread it around.”

            To what end?

  10. harpie says:

    Back on May 18:

    Strauss-Kahn ‘cannot run’ IMF – Treasury chief Geithner; BBC; 5/18/11

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn is “not in a position to run” the International Monetary Fund after his arrest over an alleged sexual assault, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said.

    Mr Geithner said the IMF’s executive board should designate an interim head.


    The lawyer for Mr Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim says his client, a 32-year-old hotel maid, is living through an “extraordinary” trauma and is now in hiding.

    “It’s not just my opinion that this woman is honest,” Jeffrey Shapiro said. “The New York City Police Department (NYPD) reached the same conclusion. This is a woman with no agenda.”

    DSK, and the Rush to Judgement; Craig Murray; 7/1/11

    [quoting himself in a 5/18 post]:

    My feelings of unease were then increased by US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner coming out to lead international demands for DSK’s replacement – as the prosecuting authority, surely it would behove the US government to shut up until he has been found innocent or guilty? Since then I have been listening to Ghanaian radio (I am in Accra) where callers are more or less unanimous that as the woman is from Guinea, in Francophone Africa, the Sarkozy connection is to blame. That fact is certainly a boon for conspiracy theorists. […]

    And from a Murray comment on that post:

    It is interesting to see these things from a Ghanaian perspective – people here know how extremely difficult it is for an ordinary African person to get a US visa, and it also is arousing much suspicion that a Guinean single mother menial worker with a child were able to enter the USA and work there.

    Quickly reading through other comments there, there is some interesting discussion about IMF and Africa.

  11. argeec says:

    There is a media blitz in favor of DSK, with statements like “DSK case collapses”. I am surprised that FDL has gotten on board.

    The woman couldn’t invent DSK’s semen. Nothing about her version of the encounter has been refuted. And what about the other women who have claimed like experiences with DSK?

    Sounds like a well-financed, tribal put-up job to me.

    • emptywheel says:

      You’re wrong.

      Her version has been proven false on the key issue of what she did immediately after the incident. She had said she waited in the hallway. Instead, she went back to the scene of the crime and was alone there for some time before she called her supervisor.

      That makes any evidence at the site absolutely useless, because no one knows whether she put it there while DSK was there or while she was alone in the suite.

      If she didn’t have a history of lying about a range of things–including being raped–it’d be different. But she does, which means she can’t be put on the stand.

      • argeec says:

        No you’re wrong – so there!

        Changing your recollection of details is not lying. And that is not key anyway. After her experience she might have been a little dazed. Plus, she couldn’t invent DSK’s semen. If the evidence is strong against you, what can you do but impeach the witness.

        As an aside, DSK is a limosine liberal a la Robert Rubin.

        • emptywheel says:

          No one is saying she invented DSK’s semen. What everyone is saying is that thre is we can’t be sure whether it was put there as a result of the encounter w/DSK, or after, because she lied (or misremembered) about having gone back into the room. That’s true whether she simply forgot or not.

          If she hadn’t lied to the prosecutors, convincingly, about the gang rape, that might not matter. But she has admitted that she lied about the gang rape. And she also lied on sworn tax and housing documents, in addition to her asylum app.

          • argeec says:

            None of what you say about her lies is relevant to the case and why would they be admissable.

            The defense wants this tried and settled in the press, not in court. Why wouldn’t we all want to know the truth, which we won’t get outside court.

            • bluedot12 says:

              How will you ever get the truth in court? Both these people are not credible. Who would you believe and why?

            • Phoenix Woman says:

              As has already been stated in this thread, she was shown to have been in the room alone after DSK left.

              That means that she had time and opportunity to tamper, massively, with the alleged crime scene.

      • Evelyn says:

        “That makes any evidence at the site absolutely useless, because no one knows whether she put it there while DSK was there or while she was alone in the suite.”

        Where would she get the semen to put there? What purpose would it serve to save up some semen and put it in the room after DSK left? DSK has acknowledged that he had a sexual encounter with the woman. Seems unlikely that he would claim no semen was involved.

        The only issue in dispute is whether or not the sexual encounter was forced or consensual. So your idea is that she might have saved up some semen and splattered it on the walls to make the encounter look more violent? Or something?

        • emptywheel says:

          Right. Since no one denies there was a sex act, the question is whether there is evidence is was non-consensual.

          Semen in a cup makes it look consensual. Semen all over the room makes it look coerced (though is not definitive).

          I’m not saying that DID happen. Just that since it can’t be ruled it out, it makes the evidence largely worthless given that she had last access to the scene of the crime.

      • Evelyn says:

        “Her version has been proven false on the key issue of what she did immediately after the incident. She had said she waited in the hallway. Instead, she went back to the scene of the crime and was alone there for some time before she called her supervisor.”

        She’s a hotel maid. Her job was to clean the room. That’s what she went into the room for in the first place. So she went back in and tried to keep doing her job. It’s not like it would be an easy decision to immediately decide to report to her bosses that one of the hotel’s most important clients just sexually attacked her. Maybe she was a little bit traumatized.

        However, it does look bad that she forgot to mention that part to the prosecution. Maybe she wasn’t traumatized. Maybe she was cool and collected deliberately running the vacuum cleaner over the semen on the carpet and only afterwards managed put on an act that convinced her co-workers, the hotel management, the police and experienced sex crimes investigators that she was traumatized.

        • Phoenix Woman says:

          Here’s the key passage on this from the NYT story Bmaz cites:

          At the same meeting, the woman gave a new version of what she had done immediately after the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. In testimony before the grand jury in May, she said she had fled Suite 2806 to an area in the main hallway and waited until she saw Mr. Strauss-Kahn leave in an elevator. She has said that her supervisor arrived a short time later, and that she told her supervisor what had happened.

          On Tuesday, the well-placed official said, she told investigators new details, stating, “I forgot to tell you this.”

          In fact, she said, she left Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room and entered another room — her lawyer said it was Suite 2820 — and cleaned it, and then returned to Suite 2806 and cleaned it until her supervisor arrived.

          “She did not know what to do,” her lawyer said. “She did not want to lose her job. She knew that her supervisor was going to be coming upstairs momentarily. So, she went into another room.”

          And yet, even this version was not corroborated by card-key data obtained by investigators on Friday, which indicated that the housekeeper went to the other room only after she had finished Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room.

          So there are now (at least) three different versions of the alleged aftermath: Her original one, her second one, and the one disclosed by the card-key data, which fatally contradicts both of her versions.

        • emptywheel says:

          Right. That’s precisely the point. Maybe she just reverted to what she does–clean–as a coping mechanism. Or maybe she went back in there and tampered. We don’t know and we have no way of knowing.

          If her credibility wasn’t shot, it might not matter. And if she had told the story straight the first time, it might not matter. But between her shot credibility and the fact it has changed (and even her changed story was incorrect), it’s a gaping hole in her story.

          As to your incredulity that she might convince everyone of a false story of rape, that’s why it’s so damning that she lied about rape before. Ever met any immigration officials? They’re fucking suspicious as hell, it’s their job. BUt they believed her rape story. So did the prosecutors she told it to. So you can’t say it’s unbelievable that the prosecutors would believe a made-up story because they have. From her. Which she admits to.

          • jim says:

            Just want to add on. This is the type of lie that catches people that are making up stories not the big lie.

            This is part of the story that she did not need to make up. If she told the truth that she went to clean the next room for what ever reason it does not matter it can be explain away because of shock, scared or what ever reason you want to come up with and no one that matters would care. This was not a lie covering up anything she might have done wrong (perceived or real) or a lie to protect her reputation or a lie that strengthens her case. That she went back to the scene of the alleged crime again is perfectly understandable if she told the truth from the beginning. But, this lie was told because this is what habitual liars do and thats lie. You can’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth at this point because it will be a lie.

            • bmaz says:

              Right, sexual assault victims can get a lot of sympathy and benefit of the doubt, and the nature of the offenses against them being traumatic, they should. But this woman is beyond the point of return on about every facet possible; that cannot be recovered from.

    • bmaz says:

      Nothing about her version of the encounter has been refuted.

      You have got to be freaking kidding me. EVERYTHING about her and her version has been refuted, and that which has not been was either inconsequential or easily capable of alternate explanation. She is entitled to exactly zero credibility in any regard, about anything.

      As to Papua above, there most certainly is not evidence from the hospital evidencce showing “violent rape”; there is, at best, a report of vaginal bruising that cannot be necessarily linked in time or place, and does not appear to have been particularly serious.

      • argeec says:

        Exactly what has been refuted? That she waited outside in the hall? That is after the encounter. What about what happened between her and DSK?

        • phred says:

          You can’t rule out consent, especially if she was hoping to get $$$ out of him, as is clearly the case from her conversation with the boyfriend.

          Sadly, just as all men are not honorable, the same is true for women.

        • emptywheel says:

          Why are you so sure someone who has–by her own admission–lied about being raped in the past is telling the truth here?

          I frankly don’t know who is telling the truth.

          But I do know that anyone who assumes EITHER witness’ story is reliable is not recognizing how non-credible both of them are.

          About the only thing we know is that DSK ejaculated–I think it’s safe to say he ejaculated after a blowjob–and that her vagina was bruised.

  12. Shoto says:

    Cy Vance and the Manhattan DA’s Office are trying to maximize whatever insulation from liability they can and, second, they are trying to decide how to proceed as to the woman who was formerly the “victim”.


    Very good overview.

  13. mattcarmody says:

    This is something that never would have occurred when I was a cop and Linda Fairstein was in charge of the Sex Crimes Bureau and Bob Morgenthau was DA. Before anything went out to trial the victim was thoroughly vetted. Wonder what happened to the investigators who worked in that office when Linda left.

    • phred says:

      So not to pour gasoline on a conspiracy fire… but from your experience, do you think someone (i.e., in federal government) might have lit a fire under the police and D.A.’s office to do something asap. Or do you figure they couldn’t resist show-boating over such a high profile figure?

      • mattcarmody says:

        Under Morgenthau and Fairstein, especially in a high profile case, this never would have made it to the indictment stage without all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. It isn’t like once DSK left the country he was not going to be available for extradition if the facts warranted that action. Besides, I don’t think someone like him would belittle himself by fighting extradition if he did, indeed, have a sense of entitlement.

        Vance jumped the gun which is surprising given the fact that his father was such a political animal. I can’t see how the people in the Sex Crimes Bureau stay in place or those in the NYPD Special Victims Unit, either, for that matter. THe Public Affairs people really should have been more attuned to what would happen if this wasn’t an airtight case.

        A lot of dropped balls here, set-up, conspiracy, or just plain fuck up. It should have been handled better.

        • Cujo359 says:

          It isn’t like once DSK left the country he was not going to be available for extradition if the facts warranted that action.

          We’ve had a heck of a time getting Roman Polanski back here. Of course, DSK’s job brought him to America pretty often, but it’s hard for me to believe he’d come back if an arrest warrant was issued and he knew he was guilty.

          • emptywheel says:

            Once he left he’d have access to his diplomatic passport. At least so long as he was still employed by the IMF. And then if he won the French Presidency, he’d get one again.

            • Cujo359 says:

              Interesting. I didn’t realize an IMF muckity-muck had that kind of status. I figured being elected president would have made him hard to reach, for any number of reasons. That’s still a year away, though.

            • argeec says:

              The IMF said diplomatic immunity didn’t apply – and if it did he would have it in the US – he wouldn’t have to leave.

          • mattcarmody says:

            Roman Polanski is viewed as a pariah, DSK, not so much. He travels in circles where mistresses and money are sometimes commonplace and, predator or not, no real stigma seems to have been attached to him.

            Also, Polanski seemed to have the support of quite a list of notables, including the justice apparatus in Switzerland from where he was to be extradicted. Everyone cut DSK loose almost immediately.

    • JTMinIA says:

      > “This is something that never would have occurred when I was a cop and Linda Fairstein was in charge of the Sex Crimes Bureau and Bob Morgenthau was DA.”

      Three words for you: central … park … jogger.

      Apologies, Orion, for missing the point.

      • mattcarmody says:

        I’ll give you that one. I was a sergeant when that case occurred and I had just been transferred from Harlem to Chelsea. There were continuing cases of “wilding” from late summer through winter ’88 into ’89 with groups of teens attacking people seemingly at random, race didn’t matter. It was only a matter of time before something very serious happened.

        The response to the jogger attack wasn’t in the same class as what occurred here. The city was tense, all the elements of primal fear were present, the ever-present white/black dynamic was involved, and the case wasn’t completely in the hands of rational people. As in the case of Tawana Brawley, outside actors had a huge influence on how things happened.

        There was no need for this case to be handled in the manner in which it was. There was no need for a rush to arrest nor to indict. DSK was not going to run away to someplace where he couldn’t be found.

        • JTMinIA says:

          Out of curiosity, did anyone in the NYPD ever get to the bottom of the term “wilding”? From what I understand, what was actually said was “wild thing” – it was a reference to the Tone Loc song, not a new term for either rape or sex.

          • mattcarmody says:

            I don’t know. I always thought it referred to gangs running wild through the area, admittedly a term with a racist undertone because there weren’t too many PC POs back then.

        • Elliott says:

          There was no need for this case to be handled in the manner in which it was. There was no need for a rush to arrest nor to indict. DSK was not going to run away to someplace where he couldn’t be found.

          This was the part of the story that struck me when it was first reported.

          Was this handled by a special case squad? or the local precinct?

  14. marymccurnin says:

    Greece and Strauss-Kahn

    FORMER International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the man who may have come up with a more reasonable and fair solution to the mess in Greece, suddenly is tied up in the United States of Kabuki on a rape charge.


    Guilty or Innocent?

    Don’t know. When all of the information is folded together it tells a very big story. Greece is now being sold to the highest bidder. Could Strauss-Kahn have stopped that? Don’t know. But he sure wasn’t there to do the job, was he? Is Strauss-Kahn a womanizer? Apparently. Does this make him a rapist? Don’t know. Just as in the Elliot Spitzer case, Strauss-Kahn’s own failing were used to neuter him (heh).

    He should count himself lucky. If he had gotten a consentual blowjob his ass would have been grass.

    • TarheelDem says:

      He should count himself lucky. If he had gotten a consentual blowjob his ass would have been grass.

      According to the news stories I’ve heard, that is precisely his defense. How times do change.

      • Cujo359 says:

        More like locations, I think. If the Weiner mess showed us anything, it’s that America, or at least its news organizations, hasn’t changed all that much since Clinton’s day.

        • TarheelDem says:

          I’m sure that when the police report saying “arrest” and “Sofitel guest” came across, the police reporter for any media thanked his lucky stars that he might score a big story.

          In the Clinton case, the news media let Richard Mellon Scaife’s dogsbodies feed them the story and the narrative until they got it before an independent counsel. And after the first independent counsel didn’t feed them what they wanted, the GOP obliged with a new independent counsel who would leak like a sieve.

          The difference between a flash-in-the-pan and a slow drip.

          The evidence in the Wiener situation will be forever confused because Wiener was pushed to resign rather quickly to shut down the story.

          But Vitter is still tolerated and Spitzer is rehabilitated. Even Clinton is rehabilitated in the media.

          Don’t be surprised if Strauss-Kahn turns up as Sarkozy’s opponent. According to a member of his party, it’s his decision as to whether the party should delay the deadline for candidates filing until after his July 18 court appearance.

          • bmaz says:

            DSK’s presumptive filing deadline for the primary is apparently July 13. My prediction is that he has quietly informed the NY authorities that the case needs to be dismissed on or before next Wednesday or he is going to let slip the dogs of legal hell on them.

  15. orionATL says:

    Continuing from 25

    It is, of course, the right (droit de signeur?) of every high-level french official to have a mistress, perhaps two.

    Chambermaids are merely a necessity of travel for
    such an official.

  16. TarheelDem says:

    Whoooeeee. Sounds like all that’s missing to keep this in the news for months is a Mike Nifong.

    I guess that the criminals involved makes it a straightforward case of a set-up for obtaining money. And all the speculation about a Sarkozy set-up can now go away.

    • harpie says:

      Thanks, faster.

      From that article:

      For Americans, who by and large have never heard of DSK, the possibility of his arrest being a set-up is inconceivable. But in the immediate aftermath of his detention, a majority of French citizens believe he has been purposely brought down. Why? Dominique Strauss-Kahn was well on track not just to become France’s president but its first Jewish president. As head of the IMF, he led that institution in a distinctly progressive manner. He sharply critiqued corrupt American bankers and banking practices and, early on, predicted the collapse of the mortgage market. As a center-left Socialist party member, he was close to negotiating a European Union bailout for Greece. And his elimination from the election empowers the candidacy of Marine LePen, head of the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic National Front party, whose popularity, alarmingly enough, currently polls higher than that of Nicolas Sarkozy.

  17. gtomkins says:

    Maybe the guy with a lot of money had already thrown some of it around, and that’s why she made that exonerating phone call. Perhaps there are less legally dangerous ways to throw a case, but maybe the guy with a lot of money paid top dollar for this particular manner of throwing the case.

    • emptywheel says:

      The phone call is by far the least damning part of this.

      What’s damning is:

      The lies on her asylum app (including a lie about having been raped in the past)
      The lies on her taxes
      The lies on her housing app
      The lies (or changed memory) of what she did immediately after the incident

      It’s only within that context that the call becomes important. She lied about rape in the past for a benefit. So the fact that she fairly quickly thought about the benefits that might accrue here makes her testimony unreliable.

  18. skepticdog says:

    I’m sure the fact he is a socialist had nothing to do with it. The US can’t stand to have real democracy.

  19. mattcarmody says:

    Remember with Spitzer there was an election coming up and the GOP would have loved to hold the governership. When Spitzer resigned and David Paterson took over, there was a concerted attempt to dirty him up making it appear that he would also step aside from consideration. that would have left the honorable Joseph Bruno next in line to become governor with the ability to appoint senators and control the secretary of state’s office which is in charge of elections.

    Luckily, Paterson came out on top and Mr. Bruno soon became a convicted felon, but I always thought the reason that Spitzer was targeted was so that the GOP could get control of the governor’s office.

    • phred says:

      IIRC (and I may not), I thought there was some concern that Spitzer posed a threat to Wall Street, so that the white collar crime set also had a vested interest in seeing his political demise.

  20. mzchief says:

    Tangential– Check out what the French government is attempting:

    Sarkozy’s government wants to censor the internet with a decree that could block sites and web searches we use everyday. But, a national outcry can stop this attack on free speech.

    This new decree would let ministers remove internet content that they think threatens “public order” without a court order. That’s why, a Sarkozy-appointed Internet Council has condemned the move as unconstitutional and international experts are up in arms. Still, the decree could be adopted within days.

    Read more and consider the petition at “France: save the internet” (Avaaz.Org)

  21. JThomason says:

    Doesn’t the door have to be opened on the stand by her vouching for her own reputation for honesty before she could be impeached by lies not pertaining to this matter. Trial by press obviates this. Not the scrutiny for sources that we saw with the Libby trial here.

    So the rule is lie once about rape and lose all legal protection against rape in the future?

    No preliminary evidentiary hearing, no trial, no testing the demeanor of the witnesses, just call it all in.

    • emptywheel says:

      If it weren’t for a pattern of lying, including things like taxes, it might not be decisive. And if she hadn’t lied about the rape–very credibly–to the prosecutors, it might not be decisive.

      But frankly, I don’t know how anyone can claim to know whether a rape occurred or not. Both witnesses are simply too unreliable (and of course, it doesn’t help that she has provided motive for why she might have lied about rape).

      One thing I do know: everytime a woman lies about rape–as this woman has–it makes it a lot harder for all other women to be believed when they make rape accusations.

      • JThomason says:

        Marcy, I haven’t looked at it in along time but the rule of evidence is that this pattern is inadmissible unless the witness testifies as to her own reputation for honesty.

        This might not get much practical play but its what the principle of evidence concerning past false statements has been.

        My memory maybe wrong and I think inconsitant statements about the alleged crime should be allowed but the cherry picking seems suspect.

        • bmaz says:

          The so called “rape shield” does exist in sex prosecutions, but really is a qualified evidentiary rule at best. Here are the specific provisions in New York:

          60.42 Rules of evidence; admissibility of evidence of victim’s sexual conduct in sex offense cases.
          Evidence of a victim’s sexual conduct shall not be admissible in a prosecution for an offense or an attempt to commit an offense defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law unless such evidence:

          1. proves or tends to prove specific instances of the victim’s prior sexual conduct with the accused; or

          2. proves or tends to prove that the victim has been convicted of an offense under section 230.00 of the penal law within three years prior to the sex offense which is the subject of the prosecution; or

          3. rebuts evidence introduced by the people of the victim’s failure to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or sexual contact during a given period of time; or

          4. rebuts evidence introduced by the people which proves or tends to prove that the accused is the cause of pregnancy or disease of the victim, or the source of semen found in the victim; or

          5. is determined by the court after an offer of proof by the accused outside the hearing of the jury, or such hearing as the court may require, and a statement by the court of its findings of fact essential to its determination, to be relevant and admissible in the interests of justice.

          60.43 Rules of evidence; admissibility of evidence of victim’s sexual conduct in non-sex offense cases.

          Evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct, including the past sexual conduct of a deceased victim, may not be admitted in a prosecution for any offense, attempt to commit an offense or conspiracy to commit an offense defined in the penal law unless such evidence is determined by the court to be relevant and admissible in the interests of justice, after an offer of proof by the proponent of such evidence outside the hearing of the jury, or such hearing as the court may require, and a statement by the court of its findings of fact essential to its determination.

          I cannot imagine that, under the exacerbated circumstances surrounding this victim, that the defendant would not be permitted pretty wide latitude in impeaching her credibility and veracity. And, obviously, she has to take the stand and put it in play, or there is no case to the jury.

            • bmaz says:

              I can see no way in hell that almost all doesn’t get allowed as direct impeachment of credibility and veracity. The lies on the immigration and housing forms are either perjury or false statements. The lies as to her acts and timeline after the incident is directly material to the incident that would be at trial. The lies about her income and phone status would be direct falsehoods in this case to the investigating officers. The jail phone call goes directly to motive and credibility/veracity. I mean, there is just about nothing we have heard that is not sufficiently probative as to be excludable.

          • JThomason says:

            Yeah, I just looked at it. Still the door has to be opened with respect to 404 concerns regardless of the rape shield provisions. I think instinctively I think the order of prosecutorial review would be 1. can a case be proven on the physical evidence 2. If the character of the alleged victim is suspect is her testimony necessary or can it be limited. A gloss justifying non-prosecution on character issues alone seems to me to be needlessly sensational.

            Obviously inconsistencies around her statements concerning the issue merit scrutiny. An instinctively many of her statements have sounded plausible and understandable even in the face of alleged violence, though I do understand how one could come to attribute some aspects of doubt.

            • bmaz says:

              Heh, like I said earlier, her testimony WILL be necessary. No victim, no case; it is just that simple and the veracity and credibility of the complaining victim is always relevant.

          • Garrett says:

            3. rebuts evidence introduced by the people of the victim’s failure to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or sexual contact during a given period of time;

            This rule makes my head spin.

            I know what it means. But it’s expressed in a thoroughly head-spinning way.

  22. argeec says:

    I never said I believed her. I am not sure of the truth – are you?

    And she changed her story about rape, she didn’t say she hadn’t been raped.

    I merely smell a rat in that a lot of media is seemingly unanimous in declaring DSK innocent and the DA negligent. As we all know, the msm lies to us on a regular basis. I would prefer to hear some testimony under oath.

    • emptywheel says:

      No one here is declaring DSK innocent. What this post is about is that the case will be dismissed. Which says nothing about his innocence, just about how shitty this case has become because there are no reliable witnesses and no definitive evidence.

      And no, as I said, I have no idea who’s telling the truth.

      And my biggest complaint with the prosecutors has as much to do with them not checking the accuser’s key card until yesterday.

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, one other complaint I have about the prosecutors.

      By not announcing how crappy their case had become until Thursday, they fed conspiracy theorists, because it happened just days after Lagarde got DSK’s job and after the Greek austerity went through.

      Apparently, they didn’t know about the prison conversation until Wednesday, and they didn’t know she was not telling the truth about what she did after teh incident until yesteday (when they check the key card data). But I think they fed the conspiracy and therefore the international media frenzy.

  23. AitchD says:

    It wouldn’t hurt to watch La Femme Nikita (V.O., 1990) since it screens like a blueprint for this case, and it will make you wonder how the housekeeper could pass security muster.

    Who do you guess has bought the movie rights: Roman Polanski or Gloria Allred?

    • JTMinIA says:

      > “It wouldn’t hurt to watch La Femme Nikita (V.O., 1990)….”

      This is terrible advice. You have to watch The Professional first and then treat La Femme Nikita as the prequel, even if Leon is now named Victor. Whatever you do, don’t go near the Bridget Fonda remake. Yag.

    • bmaz says:

      Hahahahahaha. Yes, it is almost shocking Gloria Allred has not horned her way into the “victim’s” PR schticht. You know the victim has no credibility when even Allred is not horning in.

  24. JThomason says:

    This refers to the Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 404:

    When Character Evidence is Not Admissible
    During a civil trial, character evidence is never admissible to prove a person’s conduct on any particular occasion. In a criminal case, the prosecutor cannot be the first to introduce evidence of the defendant’s character to prove his conduct. Under Rule 404(a), there are no exceptions to either situation.

    Also, character evidence of a rape victim at the accused’s trial is inadmissible. Rule 412, also known as the Rape Shield rule, protects a rape victim and prevents the victim’s character and conduct from being brought out during the trial of her alleged assailant.

    Read more: Rules of Evidence Rule 404 | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5390166_rules-evidence-rule.html#ixzz1Qy8Hp53q

    Yes its ehow, but its a quick reference. This is referring to the Federal rule.

    • emptywheel says:

      So the changing story about when she was in the room would come in. As would the prison conversation, presumably.

      But doesn’t the rest count as Brady?

      • JThomason says:

        I don’t know the answer to the Brady question in the light of rape shield provisions. The phone conversation to the Arizona prison pertains to this allegation too.

        • emptywheel says:

          OK, then this is really interesting.

          The prosecutors turned over all the evidence of her lying under Brady and rules of discovery.

          I’m guessing it qualified as discovery bc the asylum stuff came out in interviews. But that raises the question of why prosecutors were asking that question in the first place.

          It’s possible that when it became clear the guy who posed as her “brother” was lying, they started looking more closely. Also, they found out she had ties to someone w/drug ties w/in a week–that was picked up on a wire, it looks like.

          So within a week they started looking into her.

          Mind you, since Wednesday, that seems totally justified. But they’ve been looking into those issues longer htan that.

          • JThomason says:

            Right, why did the prosecutor’s defer, in their considerable discretion, to the possibility of a media circus rather using any rape shield law and the rules of evidence as they stand, to isolate the trial to the facts arising of the alleged incident. These rules are intented to protect women by taking their character out of the equations in matters such as this one.

            Of course the media is not bound by these. Not all discovery and Brady material is as a matter of course admissible at the trial of the ultimate issue. As powerful as certain media outlets are in influencing public opinion who can say the doubt that is suggested would not infect a trial, but where is the protection of law in a circumstance like this. The alleged victim has become someone who Vance and company may easily abandon. But it is not because legal process has been fully enjoyed.

              • JThomason says:

                Well they are for the sake of being prepared but assuming that they be admitted at trial the face of rules like the ones sited cautions against trying the character of the accuser ab initio.

            • jim says:

              To add on to what bmaz said above. The purpose of rape shield laws is not to protect the character its to protect the sexual character of a complaining witness in sexual assault cases that are irrelevant. Questions about honesty are still fair game so if the only thing Nafissatou Diallo lied about was her tax and housing documents this still can be used to try to impeach her testimony.

              This case has to be dropped because the only way to get a conviction is to have Nafissatou Diallo testify. There is just no other evidence that can convict with out her testimony. The semen is easy explained by consensual sex. The bruised virginia that is consistent with rape well any vaginal sexual encounter will produce bruising consistent with rape. There is nothing else. Her lawyers would be practicing malpractice to allow her to do anything but plead the 5th at this point.

              • JThomason says:

                I really started in talking about 404 concerns and asked whether the case could be prosecuted without her testimony above. Stepping aside from the particulars of the rule I really think its important to remember the nature of the alleged crime. Its really not such a golden opportunity to celebrate questions of whether the case is lock down. An act of violence may yet underly the story here even if never proven in a court of law. It could be too that she found semen on the sheets and smeared it all over the wall. I don’t know. I am simply cautioning against a rush to judgment and trying the accuser’s character first.

                Suggestions of malpractie are apparently easy to throw around as well. So much relies on the presumptions of what the trier of fact will or would ultimately do which at this point is an unknown.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yeah, I dunno, I am inclined to say malpractice is a valid discussion. Her lawyer was with her during heated questioning at the precinct, when things already appeared to be going quite sideways, and he left to go handle some other matter and left her there alone with the cops. You Just. Don’t. Do. That.

                  then there was that surreal dog and pony show monologue Thompson did on the courthouse steps yesterday. Holy jesus, I have never seen anything like that.

                  • JThomason says:

                    Its hard to argue with that. I guess it all goes to show that sex with strangers, consensual or not, hardly ever is a good thing.

                    Federal 608 seems to indicate that evidence that reflects untruthful character can only be introduced by cross examination and not by the testimony of 3rd parties. Thanks for the opportunity to brush up on my knowledge of the evidentiary rules.

                  • JTMinIA says:

                    > “then there was that surreal dog and pony show monologue Thompson did on the courthouse steps yesterday. Holy jesus, I have never seen anything like that.”

                    That’s what I heard on NPR and it’s why I asked about slander.

                • jim says:

                  Why continue with the belief that any sort of crime was committed by DSK? Sure anything is possible and all that but lets look at the released information. Nafissatou Diallo lied on a housing and tax forms. Diallo lied about a previous false rape accusation she made in order to enter the country. Diallo lied about insignificant facts surrounding the case. Diallo associates with major drug traffickers. Diallo asked her drug trafficker boyfriend on how to cash in just days after the event.

                  This is before even getting into the alleged evidence that she is a prostitute, her alleged drinking (only bring it up to show a pattern of lying since she claimed she is devout Muslim) and partying. The cell phones she lied about. Her role in money laundering or possibly drug trafficking.

                  This is a person where you can’t even believe her when she tells you the time. The only reason I can see to believe something happened at this point is political beliefs namely the belief women don’t lie and especially don’t lie about rape or a knee jerk reaction to rich white (Jewish is close enough) men. So of course her character has to be questioned because she is the only one that alleged something illegal happened there is no other evidence that points to anything different.

                  I would call it malpractice since putting her on the stand opens her up to a litany of charges. She would have to answer why she lied on her immigration papers which is a felony, why she lied on tax and housing documents which again are felonies, where the phones came from, her role as a sex worker, where the 100k came from and possibly extortion charges never mind all of the perjury and obstruction charges. Her only two options on the stand are to tell the truth which opens her up to the above charges or to take the fifth. Sure she can lie too but that is an all but gurentee she will eventually be seeing a jail cell for very long time.

                  • JThomason says:

                    Its a good question, for which I don’t have much of a reply, but even the least among us …. DSK made his bed, etc., etc., etc. I am running out of platitudes and cloudy ideas.

    • mattcarmody says:

      That’s federal civil evidence, isn’t it? I think the criminal evidence standard in NYS is different but all I’ve got on hand here is a federal evidence book and civil procedure for NYS.

      • JThomason says:

        You’re right the NY criminal rule may be different. And rape shield laws tend to be legislatively driven in their permutations from state to state.

        But even in a criminal matter I would think that the prosecution would have to “open the door” before the material would be admissible.

        • mattcarmody says:

          I agree, but with the initial flurry of media attention and the characterization of the victim as just that, a poor hard-working victim of a privileged rich white guy’s lust, I think the door would have eventually have been cracked by someone even if the trial judge had ruled on any motions pertaining to it. The shield law precludes her being drilled about her past.

          • JThomason says:

            We could take Vegas odds, but at least in that event one would hope the “game” would actually be played.

            And the stakes here are higher than regular Vegas stakes.

  25. Cynthia says:

    Mike Whitney points out in his piece entitled “IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Bagged in Honey Trap” that Strauss-Kahn was out to reform the IMF in such a matter that it would demand that the banking cartels get a non-trivial haircut for help getting the PIIGS into debt:


    And it seems pretty obvious to me that the US has put itself on a warpath to dethrone Muammar Gaddafi from power not only because he wants to nationalize Libya’s oil supply, but he also wants Libya to finance its own debt without any assistance from the US banking system. This is why I have come to believe that the Wall Street industrial complex, led by America’s top kleptocratic banks, paid to entrap Strauss-Kahn not only as a way to prevent themselves from getting a much-needed haircut, but also as a gift to Sarkozy for assisting the US in its invasion and soon occupation of Libya.

  26. JThomason says:

    I probably overstate the matter, but the question of prosecutorial conduct once again comes to the fore.

  27. Phoenix Woman says:

    Another thing that’s interesting to me is that while the charges showed signs of falling apart as early as June 8, when the woman’s original lead legal team quietly bailed from the case, that was still far too late to save DSK from being forced out at the IMF — or to save Greece from being chopped up and sold off for the banksters’ profit.

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I agree that it would be dangerously naive to dismiss politics as an element in this prosecution. The way this case was immediately touted as a “slam dunk” was always a concern. The Obama administration and its state-level cooperators do not blithely and viciously attack senior political leaders of any stripe. They more routinely shield them with weasel words about “unsupported allegations” of impropriety and vague references to ill-remembered sections of the Constitution about “innocent until proven guilty”.

    Now that the witness/victim is said to have major holes in her story, one has to wonder. Was the story made up because it was credible, given his past behavior, which would have been well known to intelligence officials? Were the holes there at the beginning and ignored in an excess of xenophobic zeal (or not there at all, but invented later)? Or were the holes discovered, like a pristine bullet on an emergency room stretcher, as payout for cooperation?

    The MOTU must be a tad relieved, now that a hard-line regulator has been replaced at the IMF with a more reliable, bankster-oriented French official – with past US financial industry ties, making her a made woman, to borrow a phrase from organized crime.

    The stakes here are hundreds of billions of dollars, at a minium. They include not just the stream of payments to be exacted from Greece, but the banksters business model, their modus operandi, to borrow a phrase from the criminal law.

    This case smells like a kilo of Roquefort, left in the sun all day on a bench in Central Park, then jammed into your gym locker for a month.

  29. JThomason says:

    OK, now I think I know what happened. DSK paid $37.50 for a blow job after walking out of the shower and finding the chambermaid in his room. He ejaculated prematurely on the carpet and the chambermaid left in disgust to clean the next room, but stopped short in the hall having hit upon an idea. Remembering seeing a Rolex on the table she came up with a scheme to extort big money. The chambermaid hit herself in the vagina and slammed the door on her shoulder. She then went back into the room and smeared semen on the wall. She then called her supervisor and reported a violent attack.

    Little did she know that she had inadvertenly aided in the looting of the Greek nation by greedy foreign capitalist. But the full bounty of this laignappe did not fully escape her attention as droves of how powered DC lawyers sought her out to aid in advancing her cause. Realizing what the boon would mean she gleefully called her boyfriend in an Arizona prison to announce happy days are here again, a rich guy had raped her and she was all lawyered up. Cy Vance tosses and turns night after night with his deep imprints of diplomatic entitlement haunting him. And then lo and behold as young Vance suits up to do his duty and take the case by the horns it unravels before his very eyes the hysterical scheming contradictions and lies of the chambermaid being astonishingly indefenisible. Well yes, there was the discharge, the bruised vagina, the injured shoulder the confessions of the defendant of a sexual encounter, oh but what a web of tangled lies the chambermaid had weaved. And so it would be, another sordid tale of the imperial city shrouded in the cloak of reverberating accusations and counter accusations, ruined countries and semen stained walls. DSK’s wife had warned him about keeping is Rolex in the view of wanton chambermaids when travelling. The French Presidency was lost but DSK still had a nice retirement before him in, a provincial retirement, much fruit and wine and cheese, yes and French chambermaids.

    Alas, he thinks, he would pawn his Rolex and cancel that cruise in the Cyclades.

    • liberaldem says:

      I’m now waiting for Katha Pollit to comment after her diatribe against France in The Nation, which they published after DSK’s perp walk.

    • emptywheel says:

      Except it can’t even competently read Vance’s letter.

      It totally ignores the tax and housing fraud, both also false statements, which are in the letter. While I’m sympathetic to the stress people go through to get to the US–I might ignore the asylum lies, except for the one about rape–but she has continued to lie on sworn declarations since then. That’s important bc the Beeb dismisses her past lying to the stress of immigration.

      Also, it’s clear that those issues come from the prosecutor, not the defense (they claim to have read the NYT article, which would make that clear, but that’s what the letter says in any case.

      So it’s not balanced. It’s bad reporting.

    • bmaz says:

      Why is that “more balanced”? Because it claims this nonsense:

      However, many cases have still been successfully prosecuted with compromised complainants.

      And judging by the comments of the maid’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, she still intends to pursue the case vigorously.

      Because, while that may be true in some cases, no case can be made with a complaining victim as completely and totally compromised in every way possible as this one is. It simply cannot be done, and nobody who has even the slightest lick of actual criminal courtroom experience will tell you that it could be done. Because it cannot.

  30. rosalind says:

    OT – ew/bmaz: latimes up with an article on BMW turning its Ontario, Ca parts distribution warehouse over to an “unidentified third-party logistics company and all but three of its 71 employees laid off.”

    what the eff is a “third-party logistics company”, i mean other than outsourced, non-union?

  31. trout says:

    any links to stories about DSK going easy on Greece, Ireland and Portugal? A lot of what I’ve read says he was business as usual at the IMF.

  32. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    here is some of the oddest and most questionable lawyering imaginable afoot. I have some further thoughts on this, and how it may fit into the even larger picture dynamics surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but that will wait until a few more things sort out. One thing is for sure, this is a long ways from being over; stay tuned.

    Jeebuz, bmaz. Don’t be a tease ;-)

    Given who this man was, and the Greek meltdown and all (just for starters) that has occurred while he’s in the pokey, there simply has to be levels of weirdness here that I can’t even imagine.

    Update away….!

  33. fatster says:

    And here’s another:

    Strauss-Kahn faces new sexual assault suit

    “A French novelist will file a criminal complaint on Tuesday accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, her lawyer said, throwing fresh uncertainty into a fierce national debate about whether the former International Monetary Fund chief can return to his country’s presidential race.”


    • bmaz says:

      It should be noted that not only are these allegations very far from “new”, Banon’s mother is a politician in France’s Socialist Party that appears to have aligned with rivals of DSK. This does absolutely nothing to detract from the thought that the entire gig with DSK is a hit job. Don’t know that it supports that view, but sure as hell does not detract from it. It is just a giant mess.

      • fatster says:

        It sure is a giant mess. I’m not wearing any tin-foil and haven’t even cooked with any in many weeks. Just going on a hunch that the NY hotel incident is the old “tip of the iceberg”. This move by Banon seems to reinforce that, though I doubt we’ll get to see much of the rest of the iceberg for a long while, if ever. The rest of the iceberg is what interests me the most. I do want that maid to have her day in court, that’s for sure, and a fair one–but then we want our justice system to work to get to the truth, whatever it might be and regardless of the financial/social position of a participant. I really don’t think you and I have much disagreement here.

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