Spitzer Aides Say Wife Urging Gov. Not to Resign; Faces Impeachment Threat

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Breaking News —AP Reports N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer Will Resign Effective Monday, March 17 

(And another one bites the dust…flagranny2)

NEW YORK —  The New York Times reports Silda Wall Spitzer is urging her disgraced husband not to resign, according to close aides of the governor. This comes as the chorus grows for him to quit and state Republicans threaten to begin impeachment preceedings if he doesn’t step down in 24 hours.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer faced a crescendo of calls for him to step down Tuesday as sources told the Associated Press that Spitzer had paid tens of thousands of dollars as a repeat customer of a high-priced prostitution service.

The Associated Press, quoting unnamed law enforcement officials, said Spitzer’s running tab for the trysts could have been as high as $80,000.

Earlier Tuesday, the New York Post reported that Spitzer has been soliciting prostitutes at least since 2002, according to unnamed sources.

Spitzer is considering resigning, but there are no plans for such an announcement Tuesday, a spokesman in the governor’s office told FOX News. The spokesman also said Spitzer had not yet come to a decision on whether or not to resign.

The latest speculation over the governor’s political future came a day after reports first surfaced that Spitzer allegedly is the person known only as “Client 9” in a federal affidavit about a high-priced prostitution ring that became public last week.

According to the affidavit, Client 9 arranged to meet a prostitute from the Emperors Club VIP sex organization in Washington, D.C., last month. Spitzer’s public schedule shows he visited Washington at the same time.

Amid increasing demands for Spitzer to step down, The Wall Street Journal cited a person close to the governor saying he could resign as soon as Tuesday evening.

New York Republicans will seek to impeach Spitzer if he does not resign within 48 hours, New York Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco told FOX News exclusively. Tedisco, speaking on FOX News’ “Hannity & Colmes,” said: “We believe it is an illegal activity he has been involved with.

“We’re going to give him 24 to 48 hours to do the right thing, and the right thing is to resign because he has been compromised. If that’s not the case … we’re going to ask the speaker to start impeachment proceedings,” Tedisco said Monday night.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press Tuesday that the governor first came under suspicion because of cash payments from several bank accounts to an account operated by a call-girl ring.

Spitzer was the initial target of the investigation and was tracked using court-ordered wiretaps that appear to have recorded him arranging for a prostitute to meet him at a Washington hotel in mid-February, the official said.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

The scandal surrounding the man who built his political reputation on rooting out corruption stunned the state. Calls for Spitzer’s resignation began immediately and intensified Tuesday, with the New York Daily News, New York Post and Newsday all demanding that he step down.

“Hit the road, John … and make it quick!” read the headline of the Daily News editorial; The Post called him “NY’s naked emperor.”

Spitzer retreated from public view Monday afternoon, after he appeared glassy-eyed with his shellshocked wife, Silda, at his side and apologized to his family and the public, but did not directly acknowledge any involvement with the prostitute.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong,” he said. “I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.”

Spitzer allegedly paid for the call girl to take a train from New York to Washington — a move that opened the transaction up to federal prosecution because she crossed state lines. The governor has not been charged, and prosecutors would not comment on the case. A Spitzer spokesman said the governor has retained a large Manhattan law firm.

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Video:Click here to watch the clip of Tedisco speaking on ‘Hannity & Colmes.’

Click here to read the transcript of Tedisco’s appearance on ‘Hannity & Colmes.’

Video: Click here to watch Spitzer’s statement.

Click here for photos.