FROM Michael Rothfeld
Strauss-Kahn Released from House Arrest Former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released today from house arrest, without bail on his own recognizance, after prosecutors raised questions of credibility about the hotel maid who claimed Strauss-Kahn brutally assaulted her. The maid's attorney then accused District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. of ignoring substantial evidence and preparing to drop the case. Michael Rothfeld is covering the case for the Wall Street Journal .
Strauss-Kahn, Schwarzenegger: Power and Sex A judge has ruled that the former head of the International Monetary Fund can be bailed under very restrictive conditions. Today, a New York judge established stringent conditions to make sure that Dominque Strauss-Kahn won't be a flight risk once he's released on bail. A long way from conviction -- he has hasn't even entered a plea -- he had to give up one of the world's most powerful jobs after a maid accused him of sexual assault . But DSK, as he's now known in the press, is hardly the only public male figure to recently be involved in cases involving alleged or proven abuse against women. What about all the publicity about other powerful men — former Senator Ensign, former New York Governor Spitzer – former California Governor Schwarzenegger ?
High Finance and White-Collar Crime Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon Group hedge fund was once worth $7 billion, and he paid ten high-powered lawyers to defend him on charges of insider trading. But a working-class jury found him guilty on all 14 counts , based in large part on telephone conversations with tipsters recorded by federal investigators. After his conviction, the billionaire rolled away from New York's federal courthouse in a silver Mercedes. He's facing prison and fines, but it's not clear what the broader consequences might be. Prosecutors promise an ongoing crackdown on insider trading. Skeptics see Rajaratnam's trial as a road map for how to get away with it. Others ask, what about the bankers accused of causing the Great Recession? Polls show that most Americans think Wall Street is rigged. Will taking down a major player restore the confidence of ordinary investors?
Galleon Group's Rajaratnam Guilty in Insider-Trading Case Today's conviction of a high-profile Wall Street insider has put others on notice that they'd better be careful of what they say on the phone. Wiretaps were crucial to the government's case against Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam on 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. Michael Rothfeld covered the trial for the Wall Street Journal .
Part 2: GOP Race for Governor Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman claims she’ll do “whatever it takes” to become California’s next governor—and she’s already spent 59 million dollars on her Republican primary campaign against Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner. But independent polls show her 50-point lead has dwindled to single digits. What does Goldman Sachs have to do with it? Dan Schnur is Director of the Jess M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.
Meg Whitman Shatters Spending Records The latest polls show that, without a day of political experience, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman has built an enormous lead over fellow Republican Steve Poizner , and a small one over veteran Democrat Jerry Brown . What is it costing her? Today's Los Angeles Times says $358,500 a day . That's $15,000 an hour or $249 a minute.
A Light at the End of the Budget Tunnel The Governor and legislative leaders worked out a $26 billion compromise Monday, but it was unclear if enough Democrats and Republicans would go along. Yesterday, GOP leaders said they’d been "double-crossed" on releasing some 27,000 prisoners from crowded state institutions. Last night, Zev Yaroslavsky told us why he and other Los Angeles Supervisors plan to sue over some aspects of the state budget plan. But there’s no doubt that local governments are the biggest losers. The problem begins with Proposition 13 . Today, the Governor, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg were in the arm-twisting business.
The Pesky Problem of Prison Overcrowding California’s prisons are unconstitutionally overcrowded, and a federal judge has seized control of medical care. Governor Schwarzenegger and Democrats have agreed to spend $7 billion on improvements, but Senate Republicans say that’s too expensive.
California’s New Prisons Chief Gang violence, the lack of rehabilitation programs and sentencing laws like three strikes and you’re out have California prisons dangerously over-crowded. A federal judge says the health system is so bad it’s unconstitutional. Fixing it all will cost billions of dollars, at a time when the state is cutting back on education because of a 15 billion dollar deficit. To preside over an impending disaster, Governor Schwarzenegger has appointed his 4th Secretary of Corrections in just five years.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?