September 10th, 2007
12:28 PM ET
11 years ago

Craig formally seeks to reverse plea

Craig's attorney, Billy Martin, tells CNN how he plans to get Craig's guilty plea withdrawn.

(CNN) - Attorneys for Sen. Larry Craig filed papers Monday to withdraw his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from allegations that he made sexual advances to an undercover police officer in an airport men's room.

Craig's attorney, Billy Martin, said the filing argues that the Idaho Republican suffered a "manifest injustice" at the hands of the police officer who arrested him in a men's room at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June.

Martin told CNN that Craig wishes that he had sought legal council in the months between his arrest and entering his guilty plea.

Full story The Psychology of Hypocrisy

Filed under: Larry Craig • Senate
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Craig N, Tomball, TX

    I don't particularly care what he does/did in the bathroom.

    I do care that first he attempted to intimidate an officer of the law by flashing his business card and "How do you like that"

    And now he is claiming his guilty plea was not an intelligently made decision.

    Seems like there were a few of those on that particular day, and the rest of us call them "mistakes" or "lapses in judgement" and we have to take our punishments.

    September 10, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Ryan, Lowell MA

    I bet there is alot of poor people in jail right now wondering why they can't change thier guilty plea. Plus how does being a flip-flopping coward not further discredit this so-called servant of the people?

    September 10, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Marty, Sacramento CA

    I suppose trolling for gay sex really is a "perfectly legal function," but come on – the guy already plead guilty and the whole thing is over. He made a mistake, me paid the price, and it's time for him to step down.

    September 10, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Enough Already

    Just wait one flippin' minute !!!
    Keep your eyes on a real issue.
    A man goes into a restroom stall, taps his foot and reaches under a stall and gets ARRESTED ??!!!!!
    Hey, why not give him the death sentence???
    Grow up people.
    Who gives a damn if he's gay or not and furthermore if the issue is one of hypocracy, we know ALL politicians are hypocrites so what's the big surprise?

    September 10, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. chrisfl

    Craig is officially a nut job. Trying to rescind a guilty plea months after it was made (which was two months after the original incident)? Nothing less than a travesty of justice. Throw this guy out of the Senate ASAP.

    September 10, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Sandy

    Larry Craig is a Senator, a law maker, so he is fully aware of the legal system. Ignorance of the law is never a legal excuse for anyone. Someone who makes laws for the entire country to uphold, should be held at an even higher level of accountability of not being ignorant of any law or legal decision.

    It's simple, he knew he was guilty. He paid the fine assuming that nobody would ever find out about it. If he fought it and plead not guilty, there would be a much higher risk of it being made public and turn into a scandle. He thought by disposing of the fine, the whole ugly situation would simply go away. Congratz to the reporter who dug deep and exposed Craig for who he really is. If he didn't have a guilty bone in his body and this was all a huge misunderstanding, he definitely would have fought it and not paid the fine.

    It must have been shocking to Craig that someone actually found out and reported it in the news. Now he wants to cry and play an innocent act. If he's gay and doesn't want to come out of the closet, that's fine. But the crime is soliciting sex in a public place. He looks like a bigger fool now that he wants to pretend he is innocent. If he is that ignorant about the legal system and didn't know what he was doing by paying the fine, how on earth can he provide a competent public service to the country as a US senator? Either way, he's a loser.

    September 10, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Tom Anaheim, CA

    Idaho deserves a Senator like Larry Craig. I want him to overturn the guilty plea and rescind his resignation from office. I want him to stay in the Senate and fight hard to be re-elected. I want it to all be about Larry. Larry, Larry, Larry, all the time. Larry is a beacon of what conservative, Republician, family, Christian values is all about. What's good for Larry is good for Idaho & America!

    September 10, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Bill C., Williamsburg VA

    "Withdrawing the plea, if allowed, will cause more pain to himself...and the republican party in days and months to come."

    OH YEAH ! Keep fightin' Larry, all the way to Nov '08...

    September 10, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. David, Arlington, VA

    Thomas, Brokeback Bathroom? How original. Why don't you focus on the alleged illegal act that the Senator committed and his insanely idiotic behavior since, as opposed to whether or not he's gay. He most likely is, but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with his guilt or innocence in this case. His sexuality may have led him to pursue the illegal activity in question, but that's only a product of his being a self-loathing closet case. As for the comparison between Craig and Guantanamo, that's ludicrous. Craig was given due process, and chose to plead guilty rather than go to court. There is zero relation between his case and those of the detainees. Finally, while I am a proud liberal Democrat, I agree with the poster who complained that Craig's case is receiving inordinate amounts of media attention, whereas the NJ corruption probe leading to the arrests of 11 Democratic state and local officials has received hardly any coverage. What's more important: a culture of corruption that feeds on itself and undermines our political system (and, gasp, the efforts of some leaders and law enforcement to rein it in) or some Senator who can't keep it in his pants?

    September 10, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Will in Boston

    When will we see the 'Idaho Top Ten Toe Taps' list from Letterman. This is too much fun!

    September 10, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. John, Boston, MA

    "Pleaded guilty as a convenience"? On what planet do people identify this course as the path of least resistance? This pathetic, self-serving man has become a caricature of everything the public detests in its elected officials. What a joke.

    September 10, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Joey Vedge

    Cary, he had his due process. People in Gitmo have not. Furthermore, it's absurd that you'd compare Craig's offense to terrorism. Of course, judging by your comment, you're an ignorant right winger, who probably believes homosexuality and terrorism are about the same thing.

    September 10, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Marie Gainesvill, Florida

    I'm sure the lawyer will take the case as long as it takes. Also he will take all of Craig's money. Oh well, that is the way to go.

    September 10, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Bob, Columbus, Ohio

    I don't usually like to see someone convicted in the media . . . but Craig was ALREADY given his legal due process and entered a guilty plea. Am I missing something? Is there ANYTHING about this that suggests that he was wrongly charged? No way, no how. His actions in that bathroom were well documented by the arresting officer and are as clear as if he had written a note and handed it under the stall.

    September 10, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Jerry, Vail Colorado

    I find it interesting that he yelled "No!" when the officer showed him his badge under the stall. If I was in the restroom using it as intended, and someone flashed a badge under the stall, my reaction would be something like "What the heck?". If was in there doing something illegal, only then I would probably yell "No!".

    September 10, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Ted, Miami, FL

    The only good thing to come out of this scandal is to show the blatant hypocrisy of the republican party. Ala, Mark Foley, Haggard, Allen, Murphy, etc..etc..

    September 10, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. spinstopper

    Craig is done, stick a fork in him. He will never be re-elected again. Unless he becomes a registered Democrat instead of just a closet one..

    September 10, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. RightyTighty

    The prisoners in Guantanamo have been locked up for years and never seen a judge or a lawyer. - Chicago, IL

    NOT TRUE. All Gitmo prisoners have see lawyers and judges. Military ones!!
    If they had wanted more, they should have been wearing uniforms on the battle field. International law says unlawful un-uniformed combatants can be executed on the battle field. Lets try that instead...

    September 10, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. Erik, Austin TX

    Isn't part of a guilty plea to go in front of a judge (and also submit a sworn statement in writing) expressing your guilt? Furthermore, the language is usually something to the effect of "I am pleading guilty of this crime because I am in fact guilty."

    Given these statements, if the guilty plea is allowed to be withdrawn he should be charged with perjury for making a false plea to begin with.

    At any rate, Craig would benefit the most by letting this thing go. His only hope for any kind of political career in the future (even in the state Senate) is to give people time to forget about this. Clearly, it will be brought up by his opponents every time he tries to run for anything, but that will happen whether he's ultimately exonerated or not.

    Craig will be talked about in Idaho for years. It's too late to stop that now. The best he can do is not compound the situation by continuing to bring attention to the matter.

    September 10, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Glen, Boston, MA

    yes, please give this up senator. we are tired of this news as a way of keeoing other things out of sight. like, get a load of the new Osama video picture. we're supposed to believe that's him. and I'm sure our government will "confirm" that it is. what a joke.

    September 10, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Nick , Chicago, IL

    Larry Craig is GAY,GAY,GAY,GAY and he got caught , Boo Hoo I thought this would just go away if I plead guilty and no one would pick up on it , But they did pick up on it Larry and now everyone knows your a fairy !! I don't feel a bit sorry for you, justice has already been served and you don't like the taste of it , it is what you have been serving up to Gay's and Lesbians for years and your voting record shows that . Your wife and children have my sympathy , you've ruined many lives !!

    September 10, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Ken W, Missouri

    I DO NOT like this guy. Not because he is gay...but because he hurts people on purpose. I don't think he is guilty...even if he did it. I should not be illegal is "pick up" someone. The learing into the stall is bad though. He, and the rest of the "conservatives" should be ashamed. I am a Christian and there is NOTHING in the bible that condones their treatment of gays, elderly, children, etc. I would feel sorry for him IF he was a better person...he is not!!!

    September 10, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Leigh, Arlington, VA

    Just the type of person we need making laws and decisions for us–plead guilt, take it back...resign, take it back. Some Congressional decisions can't be taken back. We should all worry.

    September 10, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. sairam, DC

    Way to go, Senator Craig. The citizens of Idaho and our nation are best served when you adopt an even wider stance. As a lawmaker of over three decades, you had no reason to believe that you could be held accountable for breaking any law.

    Your peeping into the stall is easily explained; with the steely high morals stare of yours, you were psyching the officer to finish his sitting quicker. Yes, there were other empty stalls for you to use, but you were staring at him just to make sure that he was not wasting taxpayer's money and time, dawdling in the john.

    Further, given that the wider stance on the throne will normally impede the motion, like Disney's Thumper, you were only tapping your feet in impatience, urging your system to get a move on. Clearly, the dirty, deviant liberal mind of the cop mistook these to be cottaging come-ons from you. Obviously, reading his dirty mind, you were merely extending your feet into his stall and tapping his feet to warn him to abandon his dirty, naughty thoughts. As you did with Bill Clinton before, you were merely chastising that naughty boy of a cop.

    As a diligent senator who has always preached a clean, moral life for all, it is reasonable to assume that your rublling your palm along the bottom of the divider was just to check if there was any dirt.

    Keep on trucking, O Pride of Idaho.

    September 10, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Kevin Santa Cruz, CA

    Former Sen. Craig, you are a hypocrytical pervert. You have disgraced your family and your state and you should bow out with what little dignity you have left. Oh wait, that's all gone now too.
    You are everything that is wrong with government. You are a fatcat who thinks the laws you apply to the rest of us don't apply to you. Good riddance!

    September 10, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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