Washington Babylon — March 11, 2008, 5:03 pm

Spitzer Leak Update

Yesterday I posted a note from a reader wondering why Eliot Spitzer’s name leaked out of the Justice Department so quickly, while Senator David Vitter’s didn’t leak after the arrest of the D.C. Madam.

Today, another reader emailed with what sounds like a very good explanation:

The main reason Vitter’s name didn’t leak–nor did anyone else’s–is that investigators were going after the madam, not the johns, and never had a ‘black book,’ never apparently tapped phones, or did anything else that would have put the identity of the clients under their noses. The names didn’t leak because the agents never had the names–and didn’t do anything to try to get them.”

But it still seems curious how quickly word leaked about Spitzer’s involvement. The New York Times has reported that it “began investigating Spitzer’s possible involvement with a prostitution ring on Friday, the day after the prosecutors arrested the four people on charges of helping run the Emperor’s Club. After inquiries from the Times, the governor on Monday canceled his public schedule.”

So how did the Times hear about Spitzer’s involvement?

Of course, even if the leak was political, Spitzer is entirely responsible for his self-immolation. Hiring a prostitute shouldn’t be a crime, but it’s criminally and pathologically stupid to do so when, as is the case with Spitzer, you’re a moralizing prig, have numerous bitter enemies, have made political capital out of breaking up hooker rings in the past.

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More from Ken Silverstein:

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