The Republican Senate leadership is keeping the heat on Larry Craig in their attempt to hound him out of office as reported by Raw Story:
"I think this episode is over," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). "We'll have a new Senator from Idaho at some point in the next month or so."
Remarked National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher: "Sen. [Republican Chairman John] Ensign (R-NV) believes that Sen. Craig made the right decision to resign, for himself and for the party."
According to Roll Call, a "well-placed Senate GOP leadership aide was even more blunt in describing the feelings of the chamber's Republican leaders, saying Craig's possible plan to stick around "smacks of desperation by a man who has just devastated his political career and is just now realizing the ramifications of his actions.'"
TalkLeft has some interesting ideas about possible avenues that Craig's legal team could take to fight his guilty plea including this gem from Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution:
"The senators and representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place."
Darn that Constitution! I encourage you to read the whole story at TalkLeft.
Republicans have based their insistence on Craig's resignation on the fact that he pleaded guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct. If the guilty plea is withdrawn, which some legal analysts believe is possible, then the Senate Ethics Committee would have nothing left to investigate. And wouldn't the Senate leadership then be forced to withdraw its demands that Craig resign?
After all, according to their logic, this is all about Craig's guilty plea, not his alleged homosexuality. When questioned by the police, Craig steadfastly maintained his innocence. He immediately denied that he had waved his left hand under the divider three times as alleged. Even if he had, it's hardly evidence of a terrible crime. He never engaged in sexual contact, nor did he verbally suggest it. As it becomes increasingly clear that Craig would have been exonerated if had he sought legal counsel it will be increasingly difficult to maintain that he should be thrown out of the Senate for copping a guilty plea in the absence of legal counsel (which surely would not have let him do that).
Mitch McConnell, John McCain and Norm Coleman have some difficult questions to answer right now. Will they withdraw their demands for Craig's resignation if the guilty plea is thrown out? Why are they insisting that he resign when nearly all legal analysts believe he would not have been convicted if he had challenged the charges in court? The Republicans should define for all us the exact basis of their demands that he resign from the Senate.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!