Kenneth Thompson, the former federal prosecutor representing the Sofitel hotel maid who says Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, reportedly "crashed" a meeting yesterday between prosecutors and the attorney representing Tristane Banon, the French journalist who has accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in France. His uninvited arrival didn't disrupt the meeting, according to DNAinfo. "The pair spent close to three hours in the meeting with the District Attorney's office, but Thompson was only allowed to participate in part of the discussions, sources said." The two lawyers then walked to the subway together, and the Guardian suggested they may be joining forces against Strauss-Kahn.
But while yesterday's meeting went civilly enough, the prosecution's antagonistic handling of Thompson underscores the rising tensions between all parties in the increasingly contentious criminal case. It can be difficult, when lawyers speak, to decipher what is rhetoric and what is actual feeling, but the players in this case have shown an abundance of the latter. Let's take a look at who has expressed frustration over whom.
Kenneth Thompson: The lawyer who took over Strauss-Kahn's accuser's case for civil attorney Harry Shapiro lashed out most vehemently and memorably against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and the prosecutors charging the case. In his comments following the July 1 hearing in which Strauss-Kahn's bail was lifted after prosecutors called attention to the accuser's dishonesty about her past, Thompson called the prosecution's revelation "a lie." He said Vance was sabotaging his own case "because he is afraid he will lose, like he lost the case against the two police officers accused of rape, like he lost the case against the Deutsche Bank employees in the fire near Ground Zero." He accused prosecutors of mistreating his client and her daughter, screaming and yelling during an interview. A few days later, Thompson called on Vance to remove his office from the case and appoint a special prosecutor, charging that Vance's chief assistant, Daniel Alonso, had planted "damaging leaks" in the press.