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Pressure Mounts on Spitzer to Resign Over Sex Scandal

Various New York lawmakers and newspapers called for Gov. Eliot Spitzer's resignation Tuesday, after he was linked to a prostitution ring Monday via a federal wiretap. Reporters discuss Spitzer's political career and the fallout from the scandal.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, the storm surrounding Eliot Spitzer. Ray Suarez has the story.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    As demands for his resignation mounted amid a sex scandal, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer kept a low profile for most of the day in his Fifth Avenue apartment.

    At a hastily arranged press conference yesterday, Spitzer neither confirmed nor denied a New York Times report alleging his involvement in a prostitution ring.

    GOV. ELIOT SPITZER (D), New York: I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and that violates my or any sense of right and wrong. I apologize, first and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    But according to anonymous law enforcement officials, the first-term governor, a Democrat, was caught on a federal wiretap arranging payments of more than $4,000 and travel for a high-priced prostitute who worked for the online escort service Emperors Club VIP. Spitzer communicated via cell phone calls and text messages.

    The two allegedly met last month at a downtown Washington hotel, the night before Spitzer testified at a congressional hearing on the bond insurance crisis.

    Sources familiar with the case said Spitzer, although not identified by name, appeared as "Client 9" in a 47-page affidavit unsealed last week. The governor first came under suspicion during routine inquiry by IRS agents who observed money being moved through shell companies tied to the escort service.

    Spitzer has not been charged with nor has he admitted any crime. The Princeton- and Harvard-educated Spitzer made a name for himself while serving as New York's attorney general.

    Dubbed the "Sheriff of Wall Street," he went after white-collar criminals and vowed to make them pay handsomely for their wrongdoings.

  • GOV. ELIOT SPITZER:

    The problem here has not been an absence of rules. The problem has been a failure of compliance. It is outright illegal conduct that was not caught, that should have been caught, and that is now being caught, and will be aggressively prosecuted.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    The 48-year-old father of three teenage girls also oversaw prosecution of at least two prostitution rings. Spitzer gave this advice to law breakers during an ABC News interview two years ago.

  • GOV. ELIOT SPITZER:

    Never talk when you can nod and never nod when you can wink and never write an e-mail, because it's death. You're giving prosecutors all the evidence we need.

    And if Albany will not bring back opportunity or responsibility or accountability…

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    After campaigning on a platform of ethical leadership, in 2006 Spitzer was elected governor with the largest majority in New York history. Today, the governor's staff said Spitzer aides were holding transition meetings with members of Lieutenant Governor David Paterson's staff.

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