September 18th, 2007
02:35 PM ET
16 years ago

Craig makes first visit to Capitol since sex scandal broke

Listen to Craig's exchange with CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho made a surprise appearance Tuesday the U.S. Capitol, his first since the scandal broke last month over allegations he tried to solicit sex from an undercover police officer in a restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The Republican senator had a brief exchange with CNN's Ted Barrett at a Capitol entrance:

Barrett: "What brings you back to the Capitol today?"
Craig: "Go to work."
Barrett: "Are you intending to vote today, sir?"
Craig: "That's my plan."
Barrett: "Why decide to come back today?"
Craig: "Because I'm a serving United States Senator from Idaho."

Craig then stepped into the senators' dining room on the first floor of the Capitol. On the way he passed a visibly surprised Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who gave Craig a big welcome back handshake.

Craig was later asked by reporters if his presence in the Capitol today means he will not resign.

The Idaho Republican responded, " no not at all - I'm here to work with my staff and my office and to work with my legal team."

Asked if he is confident about his court case, he said, "I have no opinion. I'd like to be."

Craig pleaded guilty Aug. 8 to one charge of disorderly conduct, then sought legal counsel to change his plea to not guilty. A hearing on the request is set for Sept. 26

When the case became public, Craig announced his intention to resign Sept. 30. But days later, it was announced that Craig would fight to overturn his conviction and may not resign. Craig filed papers Sept. 10 to withdraw his guilty plea.

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in court Monday calling Sen. Larry Craig's bathroom bust unconstitutional.

Related: Sen. Craig gets support from ACLU

- CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Larry Craig
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Pookums, Los Angeles, CA

    The issue here is not whether these mensroom stings should be taking place, or whether Craig really committed any crime. The issue, and which is the reason for his downfall, is this man has built a career out of gay bashing and now he's caught ... um, red handed. Those who scream the loudest indeed.

    September 18, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Kevin, Asbury Park, NJ

    I wonder how Larry Craig, the original Tap-Dancing Kid from Boise, feels about the ACLU supporting him in his legal predicament. I'm sure he appreciates the effort; but if the table were turned, and it wasn't him asking to have his conviction overturned, or the case dismissed, would Senator Wide Stance praise the left-leaning ACLU for defending an accused sexual panderer–even worse, an accused homosexual?!?

    The hypocrisy flows from a font without end.

    September 18, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Bill

    Does Larry Craig really expect us to believe he is a victim of police abuse? Let us not forget that there have been rumors for twenty years as to his sexual preferences. Now he gets busted in a restrrom going "through the motions" of soliciting sex. This man is gay and has exhibited devient sexual/criminal behavior. And to make matters worse he dragged his family into this by forcing his kids to go on tv and back him up! What a coward...

    September 18, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. Frank Honolulu HI

    Funny, when the shoe is on the other foot, republicans will bash for years without thinking twice. But if one of them has an issue then they hold their hands up and say "please don't bash me" poor little me.
    They are the most two faced people on the planet. Did you wonder yon republican why it took so long for you to get into power? Hipocrites!

    September 18, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    The point you ACLU lovers are making is a misleading one.

    He did NOT ask them to do anything on his behalf, they are doing it totally for their own "ideals".

    Their ideals include going after the authorities here who are trying to rid these areas of the pigs that are "looking for love in all the wrong places". And the "pigs" include Craig.

    The ACLU is against every measure that would make this country safer and that includes checking bags and people at airports, train stations etc, etc.

    They are against random checking or any checking, how bleeping messed up is that?

    But when you go to their headquarters, there is a sign that warns all visitors "That all bags are subject to search".


    September 20, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Bill Clinton NYC

    The ACLU is saying Crag's bust was unconstitutional. Just like Clinton, Craig's sexual life is no one's business but his own.

    Craig is a Senator and has every right to go back to work.

    The ACLU protests "random" baggage searches not searches with probable cause. "If" there is a sign at the ACLU's office saying that bags are subject to search that doesn't "random searches"

    * I am a Democrat who had no knowledge of Craig prior to this story.

    September 20, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Emily Curtain

    For those who are assuming Craig is gay, go back and read the story the Idaho Statesman published the day after this broke.

    They spent 10 months investigating and essential put every rumor to rest. The only thing they had was a source who refused to be named, who they describe as questionable, who claims he believes he had an encounter with Craig sometime in 2004.

    More telling to me is that no one has come forward since this broke. With the media circus that has surrounded this, if any one had a story to tell they would have by now. And they would be able to collect $1 million from Larry Flynt!!!

    So were are the men who can say they had anything to do with Larry Craig? Perhaps they don't exist?

    And perhaps too many people have jumped to a conclusion about this man without any evidence – and based solely on the word of a cop who was bound and determined to arrest someone.

    September 22, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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