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Craig Blames Press for His Plea
ap.google.com ^ | 09/10/07 | MATT APUZZO

Posted on 09/10/2007 4:39:21 AM PDT by TornadoAlley3

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Larry Craig should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea in a sex sting because he was under extreme stress after being hounded by journalists asking questions about his sexuality, his lawyer argues.

Craig, an Idaho Republican, pleaded guilty in August to disorderly conduct following a sting operation in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport. His lawyer, William Martin, said he will file court documents Monday trying to undo that decision so Craig can fight the charge.

Martin said Monday that Craig did not "knowingly and intelligently enter a guilty plea." The senator simply admitted conduct that "itself does not constitute a crime," Martin said.

"He admits to going into the bathroom, he admits to moving his foot, he admits to reaching his hand down," Martin said on NBC's "Today" show. "That's not a crime."

Persuading a judge to withdraw a guilty plea is difficult but Craig will argue that he was under too much stress to knowingly plead guilty, Martin said.

"He was under tremendous pressure," Martin said in a telephone interview.

In particular, Martin cited pressure from Craig's hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, which spent months investigating whether Craig engaged in homosexual encounters.

Craig, who has denied such suggestions and accused the newspaper of conducting a "witch hunt," was so concerned about that investigation, he quickly pleaded guilty when arrested in the bathroom sex sting, Martin said. Craig did not consult with a lawyer or appear in court.

He figured, "I'm innocent but if this will make it go away I'll do it," Martin said.

A police report alleged that Craig had solicited sex from a male officer at the Minneapolis airport in June.

Craig will also argue in court documents that he cannot have pleaded guilty since what he did was not illegal. The police officer said Craig bumped his foot, then tried to signal him with hand gestures beneath the stall divider.

Craig maintains he inadvertently touched the officer's foot but made no hand gestures. He said he was merely picking up a piece of paper.

"Even if you accept that he did what he did, it's not a crime," Martin said.

Martin said he was not involved in discussions about Craig's future in the Senate. Craig originally announced he would resign at the end of the month, then said he was reconsidering that decision. His chief spokesman later said Craig had dropped virtually all notions of trying to finish his third term.

"My job is to get him back to where he was before his rights were taken away," Martin said.

Craig's congressional spokesman has said the only way that Craig is likely to remain in the Senate is if a court moves quickly to overturn the conviction, something that is unlikely to happen before the end of the month.

But Judy Smith, a spokeswoman for Craig's legal team, said the lawyers are focused only on the Minnesota case, not political outcomes.

Many Republicans have urged Craig to say for sure that he will resign. That would spare the party an ethics dilemma and the embarrassment of dealing with a colleague who had been stripped of his committee leadership posts.

It also would negate the need for a Senate ethics committee investigation, which GOP leaders had requested.

If Craig succeeds in undoing his plea, he would likely try to have the charges dismissed to avoid an embarrassing trial.

Appearing on CNN's "Late Edition," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Craig is entitled to his day in court.

"Maybe he'll be convicted, but I doubt it," said Specter, the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican.

Specter said that when he learned the details of the arrest "I was convinced that he couldn't be convicted if he fought the case."

Minnesota law is that a guilty plea may be withdrawn if it was not intelligently made "and what Sen. Craig did was by no means intelligent," said Specter.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: craig; plea; press; toetapping

1 posted on 09/10/2007 4:39:24 AM PDT by TornadoAlley3
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To: TornadoAlley3

Minnesota law is that a guilty plea may be withdrawn if it was not intelligently made “and what Sen. Craig did was by no means intelligent,” said Specter.

Agreed.


2 posted on 09/10/2007 4:41:56 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: TornadoAlley3

Even if we did give him the benefit of the doubt, the fact remains that anybody who cracks under pressure like that does not have what it takes to be a US Senator.


3 posted on 09/10/2007 4:44:12 AM PDT by fzx12345 (ACLU DELENDA EST)
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To: TornadoAlley3

He just needs to shut up and go away.


4 posted on 09/10/2007 4:44:48 AM PDT by mombonn (God is looking for spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.)
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To: TornadoAlley3

5 posted on 09/10/2007 4:46:38 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: TornadoAlley3

It’s over Larry. Head home to Idaho and write a book. Write lots of books. Write your memoirs. Tell your side of it. Don’t willingly walk back into the quicksand pit.


6 posted on 09/10/2007 4:46:39 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jan 20, 2009 - "We Don't Know. Where Rudy Went. Just Glad He's Not. The President. Burma Shave.")
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To: IncPen

One way he could prove his manhood is by standing by his word, might actually make me believe he was honorable


7 posted on 09/10/2007 4:46:55 AM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: TornadoAlley3

Total baffoon, which shows even if he is “innocent”
who would want him to represent them?


8 posted on 09/10/2007 4:48:45 AM PDT by sirchtruth (No one has the RIGHT not to be offended...)
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To: TornadoAlley3

Larry, you plead guilty to a TRAFFIC TICKET to make it go away. Not a SEX CRIME.

He’s too STUPID to be in Congress. I know it’s a low bar, but he can’t clear it.


9 posted on 09/10/2007 4:48:57 AM PDT by nina0113 (If fences don't work, why does the White House have one?)
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To: Brilliant

Yes, and Earl Gray is the actual attorney doing the filing. He is, without a doubt, the strongest court room advocate that Senator Craig could have. A fine attorney albeit a liberal one at that.


10 posted on 09/10/2007 4:49:19 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: TornadoAlley3

this guy needs to disappear into the anal’s of history


11 posted on 09/10/2007 4:57:50 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (sing after me......de-por-ta-tion cha-cha-cha)
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To: TornadoAlley3

Larry Craig and his advisors are positively Billy Madisonesque. I feel dumber every time I read their latest attempt to get out of this.

Dude, hang it up. Even if a miracle happens and you get the charges killed, you’re never going to live the perception down as long as you’re in office. Don’t even try.


12 posted on 09/10/2007 4:58:52 AM PDT by RichInOC (Stupidity is its own punishment...but too many political people think they're exempt.)
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To: TornadoAlley3

Wonder when rehab enters the conversation?


13 posted on 09/10/2007 5:02:33 AM PDT by IamConservative (I could never be a liar; there's too much to remember.)
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To: mkjessup
It’s over Larry. Head home to Idaho and write a book

Or, redecorate your livingroom

14 posted on 09/10/2007 5:02:57 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage

Something in mauve? ;)


15 posted on 09/10/2007 5:04:32 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jan 20, 2009 - "We Don't Know. Where Rudy Went. Just Glad He's Not. The President. Burma Shave.")
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To: TornadoAlley3
I say that is shifting the blame to the messenger. A man who has honor takes responsibility for his actions before the world and before God. A man who doesn't have it to begin with runs around make excuses. That man is Larry Craig.
16 posted on 09/10/2007 5:06:35 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: TornadoAlley3
Larry Craig......Paging Larry Craig.......Larry Craig...

GO AWAY!

17 posted on 09/10/2007 5:07:09 AM PDT by alicewonders (Duncan Hunter. Seriously.)
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To: nina0113

I thought he plead guilty to disorderly conduct, not to any sex crime?


18 posted on 09/10/2007 5:08:33 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: ltc8k6

Lewd conduct, not disorderly.


19 posted on 09/10/2007 5:10:30 AM PDT by nina0113 (If fences don't work, why does the White House have one?)
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To: ltc8k6
God sees everything and knows what is in the heart of every human being. Craig did not commit a major crime but he compounded a small sin with arrogance and a lack of humility. That is not humbling oneself before a judge, whether it is a judge of earth or the True Judge Of The World.
20 posted on 09/10/2007 5:13:28 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: nina0113

Just looked at the paperwork. He plead guilty to disorderly conduct only.


21 posted on 09/10/2007 5:18:12 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: TornadoAlley3
keeriminy...why doesen't he just go for the “Twinkie” defense?
22 posted on 09/10/2007 5:21:25 AM PDT by evad
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To: shrinkermd
"He admits to going into the bathroom, he admits to moving his foot, he admits to reaching his hand down," Martin said on NBC's "Today" show. "That's not a crime."

But it IS perverted and those actions defy any other rational explanation. He is not unfit for the Senate because of a crime, per se. He is unfit because of his abysmal judgment, which he continues to demonstrate even as I type. He is unfit because it is clear that he places self above country.

23 posted on 09/10/2007 5:26:51 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
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To: NonValueAdded

It’s Not the press. It’s a VRWC!


24 posted on 09/10/2007 5:30:22 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Number 1 FredHead)
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To: TornadoAlley3

Sen. Craig compounded his problems when he left a sensitive message on the wrong voicemail. Not only does he come of as an idiot and a buffoon with his intial “wide stance”, but now, a security risk as well...


25 posted on 09/10/2007 5:51:48 AM PDT by LRS
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To: LRS

craig sucks. Resign or be booted out in a primary, he gets to choose the way he will go. Idaho will not re-elect this closet fag.


26 posted on 09/10/2007 6:32:44 AM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: NonValueAdded
NonValueAdded said: "He is unfit because of his abysmal judgment, which he continues to demonstrate even as I type. "

It would be easier to take a harsh stand against Craig if the media would campaign to have Teddy removed. They don't seem to care whether Teddy was tapping his foot while a young woman drowned.

27 posted on 09/10/2007 11:11:16 AM PDT by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: nina0113
Larry, you plead guilty to a TRAFFIC TICKET to make it go away. Not a SEX CRIME

You should know by now that Craig did NOT plead guilty to a sex crime.

28 posted on 09/10/2007 11:28:40 AM PDT by what's up
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To: William Tell
Sorry but I don’t want the conservatives to set their standard based on what the Swimmer and the others get away with. I hate what they have done and Teddy K is a daily affront to decency going back even before Chappaquiddick. But I for one will absolutely not defend Craig’s behavior because it is under the Kennedy benchmark. The more open and honest everyone is about holding our own accountable, the more pressure there will be on the MSM not to continue to give the RATs a free pass.
29 posted on 09/10/2007 2:34:39 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
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To: NonValueAdded
NonValueAdded said: "Sorry but I don’t want the conservatives to set their standard based on what the Swimmer and the others get away with. "

Teddy only gets away with it if people fail to bring it up when appropriate. Certainly Craig has some explaining to do. Failing to mention Teddy IS allowing a double standard. Every call for Craig to step down should include a call for Teddy to step down.

30 posted on 09/10/2007 2:44:12 PM PDT by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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