OTR Interviews

Inside the Case Against the IMF 'Great Seducer'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 16, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is in a heap of trouble, facing a sex crime rap from something this weekend. It turns out he has sexual assault allegations stacking up against him going back as far as 2002.

Criminal defense attorneys Bernie Grimm and Ted Williams join us, along with former San Francisco assistant DA Jim Hammer.

Bernie, first to you on this whole thing. He's got these allegations of inappropriate behavior with a subordinate. That should have nothing to do with this one, but we're -- but we talk about it in the news. But in terms of this prosecution.

BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I mean, people love to hear stuff like that, saying, Well, if he did it before, he must have done it this time. And in fact, being an evidence professor, you know that's the exact reason why it should stay out. So legally, it doesn't have any hearing. But I can -- bearing -- but I can hear "Hang 'Em High Hammer" in my ear saying it should come in as evidence, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, what's...

JIM HAMMER, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Hang 'em really high.

VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, what's the evidence the prosecution is looking for to put this case together?

HAMMER: Well, in any of these cases, the question's going to be a guy like Bernie who thinks nobody's committed a crime usually, that is a "She said, he said." And so what we want is corroborating evidence. She gave some version, Greta, to the police about what happened. She either scratched him. Maybe she has DNA in her fingernails. When they examine his body, they're going to find whether or not the evidence corroborates that. So that's really -- they -- the last thing that Bernie mentioned, though -- allegations of prior conduct, if they have a similar pattern to this that might corroborate her version, actually might come into the trial. So I think Bernie might be wrong on that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, except it's got -- there's actually a very strict test. I'll come out and defend Bernie on this -- very strict test. It has to be very similar. And this is -- I mean, this is an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate or something like that. So ...

All right, Ted -- Ted, never looks good if your client's on a plane to go out of the country. May be an explanation, but that...

TED WILLIAMS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know...

VAN SUSTEREN: That one -- that's a tough hurdle unless there's an explanation on that one.

WILLIAMS: And you're absolutely right, and especially on a plane that's going to take you to France because...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he lives there.

WILLIAMS: Yes, but...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Try to keep this in mind. You remember the Roman Polanski case, where he was alleged to have had...

VAN SUSTEREN: But Roman Polanski...

WILLIAMS: ... sex with...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... didn't live in France!

WILLIAMS: Yes, but the problem is France does not have...

VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) though!

WILLIAMS: ... an extradition -- France does not have an extradition treaty with the United States. And as a result of that, if he would have gotten to France, we may not have ever gotten him back here. The New York Police Department did an exceedingly exceptional job in this case, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie?

GRIMM: Yes, immunity.

VAN SUSTEREN: He's not going to get that. Diplomatic immunity?

GRIMM: Yes, I mean, the IMF's holding it back because they're saying that it was not a work-related trip. But Ted and I had talked earlier in the Green Room. Ted said, Believe me, by the end of today, he'll have it as a work-related trip because -- Jim is right, if there's -- if his DNA is on that woman, that's going to be a hard explanation, perhaps.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what -- you know what I'd want to see, if I were a juror, is -- I think in almost every hotel in this country -- and there are a lot of them -- they have cameras in the halls. They have cameras in the elevator. I would like to see how she emerged from that room.

WILLIAMS: But...

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, it's not necessarily, you know, absolutely proof positive, but I mean, it's, like -- it would be -- it would be helpful in terms of me understanding ... Yes, Jim?

HAMMER: I put -- I think you're exactly right, and that is what's the evidence right after the alleged rape? In a lot of these cases, the question is, is that buyer's regret after the fact. But if right after the alleged rape happens, she looks harried, she looks messed up on the video, and not just that, the 911 call -- when you listen to these tapes, in my experience, I think Ted and Bernie will agree -- when you listen to these tapes, you can often tell is this is a real victim? Is she absolutely distraught? Is she screaming like she just got raped? You can't undo that 911 tape. So that together with the surveillance, I think, means a lot.

WILLIAMS: But there...

VAN SUSTEREN: But someone -- but someone could also -- I mean, act -- I mean, could be so traumatized as to act, quote, "normal" and not reflect that. I just think if someone is completely frantic that it would -- inures to the benefit of the prosecution.

WILLIAMS: But now we're going to get into the crux of this case. It's called trash the woman. Trust me, the defense attorneys in this case are going to be out there. They're going to try to find out if she has any kind of bill. They're going to try to find out...

VAN SUSTEREN: You can call it trashing, or you can call it that -- you know, they have -- the defendant has a right to have it investigated. I mean, you know, it's always called trash from the prosecution's standpoint. But you know, they do have a right to investigate the case.

WILLIAMS: Well, we're not trying to deny them that right. But the question mark here is, from what we all understand is that this is alleged to have been a 32-year-old woman who has had a good, stellar record there at this hotel. And so there's really no reason for her to make up something on this guy. I mean, you and I covered the Duke lacrosse case...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you the thing that bothers me the most. At first, just reading the newspaper accounts, the fact that he's on a plane getting out of Dodge. And right away -- now, unless he...

HAMMER: It doesn't look good.

VAN SUSTEREN: Unless he previously had a ticket, unless he was planning to go.

GRIMM: Right. And he left his cell phone and some other belongings back in the room.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, that wasn't good. All right, Bill Taylor, one of his lawyers, who is a Washington, D.C., Lawyer.

GRIMM: Yes, famous, old public defender office lawyer. Bill's very, very well-known. I think Ted knows him. Jim may know him, as well. But you know, Ted said no motive. She would have a financial motive in filing a false complaint against him because he's got plenty of money. He holds...

WILLIAMS: Oh!

GRIMM: He holds the pulse of the entire...

WILLIAMS: No, no!

GRIMM: ... global market...

WILLIAMS: I'm not going to go there.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: This woman would not go in this room and -- and I don't think she...

HAMMER: You got to go somewhere ...

WILLIAMS: ... made this up. I think this case...

HAMMER: What are you going to do...

WILLIAMS: ... is going to be very...

HAMMER: What are you going to do, Ted? If there's physical evidence, Bernie is right. You got to attack her in some way.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: No, I don't disagree with that.

HAMMER: I think Bernie is right.

WILLIAMS: But listen, this case is going to be driven by the forensics. If there is alleged to have been blood on the sheets, if there's DNA of this guy on her, and this guy's saying, Hey, I wasn't even there...

VAN SUSTEREN: If they scrape her fingernails and find his DNA under her fingernails...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: That's another -- no bond. Would you give him bond, Bernie?

GRIMM: I would give him bond because -- if he turns his passport in. He -- Ted says, Well, he can make another one. This guy...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... have two passports who travel a lot.

GRIMM: This guy is recognizable, and I don't think he's going anywhere. If he goes to France, then we don't get him back.

VAN SUSTEREN: Roman Polanski's gone. You've got -- you've got -- there was that guy out of Philadelphia years ago, Einhorn or whatever his name -- people go.

GRIMM: Right.

WILLIAMS: No way, Jose. He shouldn't get bond. I think if he was, they should have -- should have an electronic monitor on him.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think -- Jim...

HAMMER: I think after...

VAN SUSTEREN: Would you give him bond, Jim?

HAMMER: After Joran van der Sloot slipping -- slipping the last set-up they had, anybody who let a guy like this go out of the country ought to lose their job.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Unless the guy had a ticket and he previously planed to go, and then you could do electronic monitoring if there was something...

HAMMER: No, you...

VAN SUSTEREN: Any -- any -- I think the defense...

HAMMER: You guys are too soft on the East Coast.

WILLIAMS: This man...

HAMMER: You're too soft on the East Coast.

WILLIAMS: This is the most powerful man in this country. He's the most powerful...

VAN SUSTEREN: I said...

WILLIAMS: ... man probably in the world.

VAN SUSTEREN: If he doesn't -- if he doesn't -- if it wasn't a regularly scheduled trip, then no bond. Anyway...

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gentlemen, always nice to see you.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm sure we'll...

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: ... Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... about this. Thank you all.