It's not a pleasant Monday for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF chief arrested Saturday in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid. The Frenchman has agreed to a scientific forensic investigation, in which prosecutors will obtain DNA evidence on his skin or beneath his fingernails to back up the maid's account that Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from his hotel bathroom Sunday, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and attempted to rape her. The evidence could prove decisive, as the Wall Street Journal now reports that detectives have recovered DNA evidence at the scene of the alleged assault. The IMF, meanwhile, has named John Lipsky, a former U.S. Treasury executive and JP Morgan banker, to replace Strauss-Kahn as acting managing director.
Interestingly, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers say they have proof that he was having lunch at a restaurant with his daughter at the time of the alleged assault. According to France's RMC radio, the lawyers have reconstructed his day, saying he checked out of his hotel midday, returned his key, dined with his daughter and taxied to the airport. If the schedule is accurate, it would serve as an alibi because he would've been gone at the time the maid accused him of assaulting her.
Back in France, other accusations against Strauss-Kahn' are appearing in the media. Tristane Banon, a French writer, accuses him of sexually assaulting her nine years ago, saying he acted like a "rutting chimpanzee." The woman had consulted a lawyer at the time but her mother convinced her not to take action because her mother was, as The Guardian notes, "a regional councilor in the Socialist party and friend of the Strauss-Kahn family." Before his charades on Sunday, Strauss-Kahn was expected to lead the Socialist party to victory against French President Nicolas Sarkozy, though now most consider that outcome slim to none. The New York Times says the country is going through a process of "soul-searching" as political leaders label the arrest a “historical moment, in negative terms, in French politics.”
In the U.S., Texas congressman Ron Paul used the opportunity to slam the IMF, an institution he considers dangerous and overreaching. "These are the kinds of people who are running the IMF," he told Chris Wallace on Fox News, "and we want to turn the world's finances and the control of the money supply [over] to them?" The GOP 2012 presidential candidate said the organization's monetary policies force countries to sacrifice their sovereignty to it. In a Monday editorial, The Wall Street Journal also calls the arrest a "black mark" for the IMF which "chose to overlook his previous sexual behavior." In a moment of transparent schadenfreude, the Journal writes "It will be fascinating to see how the grandees of French and international financial politics handle this one."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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