October 4th, 2007
01:47 PM ET
7 years ago

Judge won't let Craig withdraw guilty plea

A judge denied Craig's request to withdraw his guilty plea Thursday.

(CNN) - A Minnesota judge has denied Sen. Larry Craig's request to withdraw his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from his arrest in an airport men's room sex sting.

In a 27-page order, Judge Charles Porter found Craig had entered the guilty plea "accurately, voluntarily and intelligently" and it was too late to withdraw his admission. (Read order [PDF])

Craig was arrested in June by Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport police, who accused him of making sexual overtures in an airport men's room to an undercover male police officer. Craig pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor count in August.

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Filed under: Larry Craig
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. El Mosca del Norte

    Senator Craig's repeated displays of lack of judgment and common sense are astonishing.

    In these foul days of fear and loathing, it is heartening to see that John Adams' famous words have not been forgotten:
    "to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men." This phrase has been quoted with approval by the U.S. Supreme Court and every state supreme court in the United States.

    One would think a sitting United States Senator would have the cojones to stand by his word – both as to the guilty plea and commitment to leave the Senate.

    Instead, he will no doubt vow to fight on – to the Supreme Court if necessary. What a pathetic display.

    October 4, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    And now we'll say good bye to you. Remember what you said? You're not a liar about resigning are you? I'm thinking you'll appeal about 10 times to try everything to hang on to your identity, no, I mean your ego, opps I mean your "job." Does Idaho deserve you as their representative? Let's ask them to speak up.

    October 4, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. JKB Syracuse, NY

    I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!I hope he stays!!!!!!! GO DEMS!

    October 4, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Marshall, Santa Cruz, CA

    Senator, you said that you would resign at the end of September.

    It is now October. Kindly do what you said you would do.

    October 4, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Chris, SLC, UT

    "You are a pimple on the GOP's butt."

    Posted By Bubba, Swainsboro GA : October 4, 2007 2:27 pm

    Since they've taken care of the acne, isn't it about time they did something about the rest of that cancer-ridden body?

    October 4, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Bob Marietta, GA

    I hope Larry Craig stays around and fights for his innocence!! If he IS innocent, his case showcases the shallow spinelessness of his Congressional colleagues in dumping him before he got a chance to defend himself in the Ethics Committee. If he is guilty, well this is just another Neo-con hypocrite exposed, while family values champion, David Vitter, gets a free pass to his house of prostitution.

    Larry Crain is the poster child for utter moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party.

    October 4, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Michael, Asbury Park, NJ

    He should stay, then the republicans will lose a seat next year. Please, please, please, STAY!

    October 4, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Well looking in from the outside and getting my shield ready for the stones –

    I have to say this – It is Larry Craig's word versus the airport police
    officer's. So those who find Larry guilty as charged are basing that finding on the officer's story. There are no witnesses or video on what happened in the washroom. Just Saying...Fair is Fair.

    If it was someone other than Senator Craig would people haven just taken the officer's word and version of what happened? I don't think so. Somebody would be screaming foul and asking where the evidence was.

    I just think like the Jenna Case all should be treated fairly under the law and Justice System. And the only two people who really know what went on in that washroom is Senator Craig and the Airport Police Officer...Making it a He said – He said case.

    October 4, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. MRS. SUSAN CHARBENEAU

    IT SEEMS THAT SENATOR CRAIG, WAS CERTAINLY IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME!!!!!!!!!! EVEN THOUGH THIS WASN'T OVERTURNED, I STILL BELIEVE THAT SENATOR CRAIG SHOULD HAVE HIS ATTORNEY PRESS CHARGES AGAINST THE POLICE OFFICER WHO WAS IN THE RESTROOM AND THE ONE WHO ARRESTED SENATOR CRAIG. LISTENING TO THOSE TAPE RECORDINGS, IT SEEMS TO ME, THAT SENATOR CRAIG WAS BEING YELLED AT, AND EVEN SPOKEN IN A VERY HARSH MANNER. THIS ISN'T RESPECTFUL TO SENATOR CRAIG, AND SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED. WHY SHOULD SOMEONE TREAT A HUMAN BEING, WHO IS NOT ON ANYTHING, NOR DOES HE HAVE A RECORD, SHOWN DISRESPECT FROM ANOTHE HUMAN BEING?????
    ITS SAD TO BELIEVE THAT NOW, WE AMERICANS HAVE TO HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT ENTERING A "PUBLIC RESTROOM"!!!!!
    MY LORD, WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?????? ALSO, I QUESTION THIS OFFICER, AS TO WHY HE FOUND SENATOR CRAIG TO BE GUILTY BEFORE SENATOR CRAIG EVEN HAD A TRIAL. SENATOR CRAIG SHOULD NOT OF SIGNED ANYTHING, AND SHOULD OF DEMANDED HE BE ABLE TO CONTACT HIS PERSONAL ATTORNEY.

    October 4, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. joseph, austin,tx

    I do feel for the guy, most gay people in the public eye have to hide the fact they're gay, and thats sad, but still what a dumba**, he still shouldnt be forced to resign. why arent more gay people defending him, i thought libs were more compasionate.

    October 4, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. David Attella,Medford,MA

    I'm glad that the judge didn't change his stance. Craig is an asset to the Republican Party in my book. :)

    October 4, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Joe, Cape Girardeau, MO

    It's good to see the judge took a "wide stance" on this issue and denied his request to withdraw his guilty plea. Now go pick up that last piece of paper on the bathroom floor and leave already, Larry.

    October 4, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Cory, Scottsdale, AZ

    Senator Craig is a naughty boy... in fact I would even go so far as to say that he is a nasty- naughty boy...

    October 4, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Another proud day for the GOP. His wife and family must be so proud. He is such a hypocrit that I doubt anyone comes to his defense. But seriously, thanks for the laughs and your timing is impecable.

    October 4, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Will, NYC

    Thank god this was not one of those 'activist judges' who would've created new precedent out of whole cloth and instead stuck to the centries-old precedent, and found the man's plea irreversible.

    October 4, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Robert, West Virginia

    What did you think was going to happen Senator Craig, most of us Republicans and Democrats alike simple just want you to go away.

    October 4, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Barry, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Well, he did plead guilty. That was a mistake he made, and he shouldn't have done it if he didn't want to.

    Regardless of whether or not he's guilty, I think it's tragic the intolerance, misinformation, and taboo of being gay is so out of whack in this country that people would be so afraid to admit what (not who, but what) they are that they would resort to bathrooms to "secretly" engage in such activities. Hopefully our culture will become more accepting of what people are, so they don't have to be so afraid they hide the truth from the world, so stuff like this becomes much rarer.

    October 4, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. househead_415; SF, Cal.

    Heh. Uh-Oh! Naughty, naughty; Mr. Craig!
    Idaho? No! Udaho!!

    October 4, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. laurinda,ny

    What a typical Republican. I suppose the Democrats dropped that paper over the stall wall so Craig would have to pick it up.

    October 4, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Adam Holland, Brooklyn, NY

    I do not believe that Mr. Craig's offense, such as it was, rose to the level of a crime. Yes, he appears to have solicited sex from another man in a public restroom, and sex in such a location has been criminalized. However, considering that there were no complainants (i.e. no victims), and that he was enticed into committing his "crime" by a police officer, I see Mr. Craig as a victim of anti-gay entrapment of a sort that, while once commonplace, is thankfully becoming less so. A cop who makes himself available for sex with another man cannot arrest that man in the name of justice, only in the name of discrimination against gays.

    The solution to the "problem" of men's room sex is exactly what the Airport where this occurred has subsequently done: cover the gap between the stalls that created the conditions for the sex play in the first place. Now they should also end the practice of entrapping men seeking gay sex.

    By the way, should someone have been injured by Mr. Craig's behavior, such as a child or even unwilling adult being exposed to it, that WOULD legitimately be called a crime and should be punished. That did not happen in this case.

    One more thing: Mr. Craig has demonstrated the ultimate in hypocrisy by blaming the gay rights movement for his difficulty with the law. This position caps his long career of opposition to gay rights with an ironic, and sad, demonstration of his self-destructive sexual confusion and willingness to demagogue the issue.

    October 4, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. John Wilson, Los Angeles, CA

    Actually, I hope that Craig remains in office until the end of his term, and that he takes up where Alberto Gonzales left off. I'd like nothing more than to hear months and months of charges and counter-charges and hour after hour of accusations and denials – all on prime time, of course – as Craig attempts to 'clear his name.' At least he's not Paris Hilton, and besides, there so much Craig can still contribute to the welfare to the country as he assists the Republican Party in committing the suicide that it seems so intent on accomplishing.

    October 4, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Eric, Ypsilanti Twp., Michigan

    The judge was right to make that decision because there was no way that Sen. Craig could overturn his guilty & he has to pay for it just like Fmr. Conressman Mark Foley(R-FL) & the other crooked politicians!
    So I say Sen Craig! "CRY ME A RIVER"!
    There are many other politicians that are under suspiscion from both parties like Rep. John Doolittle(R-CA) , Sen. Ted Stevens(R-AK), Rep. Don Young(R-AK), & Bob Filner(D-CA)! THERE WILL BE A THIRD PARTY MAJORITY & A MAJOR PARTY MINORITY!

    October 4, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Mesa

    This is a US Senator he has access to the best legal minds in America. If it had been some 17 kid I would understand. This man has huge resources and he plead guilty get over it. Tea

    October 4, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    HOORAY!!! Three cheers for Judge Porter!

    Hopefully, Craig's last act as senator now will be to keep his promise and resign from the senate. I pray his successor is a Democrat – We REALLY need way more Democrats on capitol hill to override Bush's follies.

    And who was Craig to make a guilty plea and then turn around and fight it? This is just more of the arrogance displayed by the Republican party at large. Thank God almighty I'm a liberal Democrat.

    October 4, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Robert, Port Jefferson and Peter Formaini, Ithaca

    I'm not defending Craig with this commentary, as I am a Liberal Democrat.
    However, there is a law in Minnesota that allows a defendant to withdrawal a guilty plea. So your comments about "privilege and power" or "setting a precedent for other criminals" shouldn't be aimed at Craig, but more so toward the courts in Minnesota. Your dislike of Craig for one reason or another is one thing; but to imply that he was given special favors (ability to withdrawal plea) because of his public profile is incorrect.

    BTW, I sort of hope Craig stays in office because this could help the Dems in the long run. Think about it this way, if he resigns, another GOP person fills his seat (governor appointment). This will give the GOP a boost in the 2008 Idaho senate regular election, the new appointee can claim that he/she is experienced in office, etc. Whereas when Craig leaves office when his term expires, then this will be an open seat, with a slim possibility for a Dem senator.

    October 4, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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