(CNN) – Elliot Spitzer was known as a fierce attorney general of New York State. I interviewed him back in March 2002 – only six months after 9/11 – about his criminal investigation into people falsely claiming some of the charitable funds that had been raised to help victims of the terror attack.
"There is grotesque self-interest and a violation of our common sense of decency when people would take advantage of the enormous generosity of the American public," he said, noting that some $2 billion had been given to the various 9/11 charities. He blasted those who show up pretending they lost loved ones in a horrendous effort to take advantage of the system." And he promised us this: "We will prosecute these types to the fullest extent of the law."
In the course of his career, he uttered those last words quite often – "the fullest extent of the law."
Now we are all watching to see if Spitzer has actually committed any crime - and, if the answer is yes, whether he will be prosecuted to "the fullest extent of the law."
His enemies would say yes. He has had many of them, given his tough-as-nails reputation for going after Wall Street insiders, mobsters, and yes, those engaged in prostitution rings. Back in 2004, as Attorney General, he announced the arrest of 16 people for alleged involvement in an expensive prostitution operation in Staten Island. The New York Times quoted him as saying at the time: "This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multi-tiered management structure. It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring."
Given that history, I can't help but ask that famous question that Jay Leno asked the actor Hugh Grant after he was busted for being with a prostitute: "What were you thinking?"
- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer