For those interested in the details of high-level prostitution negotiations, TPM has posted portions of a search warrant featuring wiretapped conversations between representatives of the Emperors Club and one "Client-9," whom the New York Times has reported is Eliot Spitzer. A short excerpt:

At approximately 7:51 p.m., TEMEKA RACHELLE LEWIS, a/k/a "Rachelle," the defendant, using the 6587 Number, received a call from Client-9. During the call, LEWIS told Client-9 that the balance was around ,"2611 (believed to be a reference to $2,600), but she would give him an exact number later. LEWIS asked if when "Kristen" went to pick up the key she would have to give a name or would she be able to say that she as one of Client-9's guests for whom he left an envelope. LEWIS and Client-9 discussed how to arrange for "Kristen" to get the key to her hotel room. LEWIS said that she would prefer if "Kristen" did not have to give a name. Client-9 said that he was trying to 'think this through." Client-9 repeated that his balance was '2600," and stated that maybe he would give "her," a reference to "Kristen," '3600" and have a thousand on balance. LEWIS suggested making it "1500" more. Client-9 said that would make it "4100," and said that he would look for a bank and see about it. Client-9 told LEWIS to let him go down and take care of this, and suggested that maybe he could put it [the hotel key] in an envelope with the concierge. (Call 9725R).

I confess what I find most surprising is not the considerable financial expense involved, but the sheer amount of time it appears to have taken to arrange the liaison (by my count, at least five phone conversations between Client-9 and the Emperors Club, in addition to whatever time was necessary to arrange payment, hotel room, etc.).

I have mixed feelings about the illegality of prostitution, and I certainly think there are many better uses of limited law enforcement resources than apparent stings such as this. But if Spitzer is indeed "Client-9," it's hard to see how this isn't a career-ender, especially given that, having prosecuted prostitution rings himself--and presumably sent people to jail for such offenses--he really sets a new standard for hypocrisy.

--Christopher Orr