Two weeks before Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s court date, prosecutors and defense attorneys will meet to discuss whether and how a plea bargain or dismissal can be struck in the case, in the face of the prosecution’s star witness’s crumbling credibility. The Times reports that the meeting is a preliminary one; it’s doubtful that today’s discussions will result in an actual dismissal on the spot, and prosecutors are still gathering evidence in the case.
A likely deal might involve a misdemeanor plea (with no jail time and a return to France for DSK), though a felony plea isn’t totally off the table. DSK’s team has indicated he won’t plead guilty, unless the prosecution comes up with unexpectedly strong evidence, and so if no bargain is struck, the case would either be dismissed or forced to go to trial — and at this point, a trial seems highly unlikely. In response to critics who have argued, given the speed with which the case suddenly fell apart, that D.A. Cyrus Vance should have been more careful in bringing charges, Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered praise for Vance, who he says is “turning out to be a very good district attorney. He’s taking on high-profile cases, and he’s facing them. And he probably made the right decision.” So, at least there’s a silver lining here for Vance, if for no one else involved in the case.