Dominique Strauss-Kahn has some high-profile, high-priced lawyers running his case. But while his legal team is at the center of his crisis staff, they're by far not the only members worth examining. Last week, we introduced you to Ben Brafman, the legendary New York defense counsel running the legal team and appeared with him court. This week, we've learned of two other important teams working for Strauss-Kahn. One is the security company keeping watch over him as he waits on house arrest for his case to move forward. The other is the public relations firm he's reportedly been working with on a "casual" basis. Let's get to know them a little better, shall we?
Security Firm: Stroz Friedberg
According to a Bloomberg profile today, the Strauss-Kahn team engaged Stroz Friedberg to make sure he didn't flee the country on the recommendation of the court. It's the same team that oversaw Bernard Madoff's house arrest, and it's costing Strauss-Kahn some $200,000 a month. Here's what Edward Stroz had to say, via Bloomberg:
“We’re former law enforcement guys,” said Edward Stroz, 54, who headed the FBI’s computer crimes squad in New York before stepping down in 2000. “We have brains, some muscle. We’re not afraid of adversarial situations, and we’re not afraid to come before the court.”
That's good because it seems they're going to get "adversarial situations" every time Strauss-Kahn leaves his apartment. With a troupe of reporters camped out in front of his temporary digs at 71 Broadway, all comings and goings have been the subject of intense attention.
In addition to its duties guarding Strauss-Kahn, the firm, which Stroz calls "a bespoke service," specializes in electronic investigations -- "crimes involving computers and the Internet," as Bloomberg puts it. "The firm built its own digital forensics lab to collect, identify and preserve evidence gathered from hard drives, cell phones and other devices." Its focus on electronic security was attractive enough to investment bank Greenhill & Co. that it sunk $30 million into the security firm.
Strauss-Kahn and Bernie Madoff aren't the only high-profile players the firm has worked for. It also contracted with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to preserve emails during Stewart's obstruction of justice trial, and searched for forensic evidence on behalf of the prosecutors in the Enron case.
Public Relations and Fixers: TD International
Less a traditional public relations outfit and more a general image consultant and fix-it firm,
TD International are now likely advising him on making public statements, such as his letter Sunday to the IMF staff, now that his every word is sure to make news. Strauss-Kahn has worked with the firm before. According to a Reuters story on Saturday. In 2007, he hired TDI to "advise him on how to navigate international and Washington politics in his bid to become managing director of the International Monetary Fund."
According to its Web site, the firm specializes in "real-time, on-the-ground intelligence that informs our clients’ actions. Its founder, William Green, was on a CIA team that got asked to leave France in 1995 after a botched intelligence operation, Yahoo's The Envoy blog reported.
He was the case officer in charge of the "turnover operation", the source said: when a female CIA officer working under non-official cover as a businesswoman in France was supposed to introduce a French official she had cultivated to a CIA handler. But French security services were monitoring the hotel where the turnover meeting was due to take place, the source said. Then French Interior Minister and counterintelligence chief Charles Pasqua publicly exposed the botched CIA operation in 1995, calling in then U.S. ambassador to France Pamela Harriman to complain.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Green worked for the State Department until 1996. The Envoy notes that a second anonymous source described Green as " just a case officer in Paris, whose role in the case has been exaggerated." These days, Green and his crew (which includes other former CIA and government operatives) focus on helping their clients do effective politicking, reputation, and crisis management. Strauss-Kahn definitely needs some of that.