Dominique Strauss-Kahn's legal team is furious that confidential police sources have "recklessly injected" information "into the public arena with the potential of permanently prejudicing potential jurors," according to a letter they sent yesterday to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance complaining of pervasive information leaks to the press. While Strauss-Kahn has been the subject of stories claiming that his DNA was found on his accuser's clothing, his defense team has had to refrain from overt attacks on the complaining witness in the attempted rape case against him, in large part because there is no way they could look good doing that. So attorney Bill Taylor figured out a way to complain about the leaks and get a damaging quote out about the accuser, a maid at New York's Sofitel Hotel, at the same time.
A prosecutor working on the case, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, borrowed some of that language in her response, posted to the court's Web site this afternoon. She called Taylor to task for undermining the accuser's credibility in the venue of a public court document ostensibly pertaining to procedure:
This is a strange way for the two sides in this case to snipe at each other, but it's a strange case to begin with.
Taylor's ostensible complaint in his letter to Vance was the leaks that have sprung from sources within the New York Police Department. He first brings up the DNA match claim. But he saves some of his harshest language for New York police spokesman Paul Brown, who The New York Times credits as the source of the information for its multimedia feature "Recreating an Encounter," which Taylor even printed out and attached to the hand-delivered missive.
To be fair to The Times, Brown told every reporter the police's version of what allegedly happened. The Times just seems to be the only paper that applied the manpower and graphic design wizardry necessary to generate a model of the hotel room and map out each step of the "encounter." The question remains as to where it got the floor plan of the suite, but that's probably available to anybody with a big enough expense account to rent it.
Taylor should at least be glad this Chinese animated video hasn't gotten more play on the networks (skip to about 1:00).
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.