A Rather Ridiculous DSK Theory

The great Amy Davidson pokes some rather large holes in a New York Review of Books piece by Edward Jay Epstein arguing that DSK may have been a victim of a conspiracy (h/t @PGourevitch):

(H)ere is one moment, though, that is summed up in a strikingly vague paragraph, comparatively free of detail, until it hurries on to the next phone call, as if that were a refuge. It turns out to be a fairly important juncture:

What took place between DSK and the maid in those six to seven intervening minutes is a matter of dispute. DNA evidence found outside the bathroom door showed her saliva mixed with his semen. The New York prosecutor concluded that a "hurried sexual encounter" took place and DSK's lawyers have admitted as much, while claiming that what happened was consensual. The maid has brought a civil suit claiming he used force. It is not clear when she left the room since key card records do not show times of exit. What is known is that DSK called his daughter on his IMF BlackBerry at 12:13 to tell her he would be late.

Isn't this "matter of dispute" the crucial one? And yet it is treated as a sideshow. Epstein seems to have very good access to D.S.K.'s circle; he says he has seen documents that were given to his lawyers. He knows that, after the "encounter," Strauss-Kahn put on "his light black topcoat." But in terms of the event at the center of the scandal, what we get is that his "lawyers have admitted as much"--as much, in effect, as the D.N.A. showed--"while claiming that what happened was consensual." Is that the best Epstein can do?

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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