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Larry Craig Pushes Back - Decides to Stay in Senate

Updated and bumped again: Larry Craig is not going out without a fight. He's announced that he's going to stay in the Senate and finish out his term through 2008, then not seek re-election -- despite the GOP's threats (see previous update below)

Shortly after a state judge denied his request to withdraw the August plea admitting to disorderly conduct, Mr. Craig said he had reversed his previously announced decision to leave the Senate if he could not get the plea thrown out and would instead serve out his third term, which expires at the end of 2008. He said he would not run for a fourth.

Of course, he may later decide to rescind the decision to not seek re-lection, at the rate things are going -- something I guarantee he will do if he beats the rap on his restroom bust.

Looks like Larry likes to play rough.

10/1/07 Update: The Washington Post is reporting that Republican leaders are turning up the heat, trying to force Craig out by threatening open hearings to fully expose and explore the Minneapolis allegation.

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is a tough guy to run out of town.

Not that his Republican colleagues aren't trying. Worried that the disgraced lawmaker intends to remain in the Senate indefinitely, they are threatening to notch up the public humiliation by seeking an open ethics hearing on the restroom scandal that enveloped Craig last month.

The Senate hearing would examine the original charges in Craig's case, including the allegation of "interference with privacy," for peeping into the bathroom stall occupied by an undercover police officer. One senior Republican aide imagined "witnesses, documents, all in front of the klieg lights." The committee also could look for "a pattern of conduct" -- which means combing court records in other locales to discover whether Craig had prior arrests that haven't come to light.

-- [original post begins here ] --

WIll Push Come to Shove for Larry Craig?
originally published: Sep 30, 07 05:00 AM

The more time that passes, the more it appears that Larry Craig may stick around until the GOP leadership shoves him out the door. My guess is that he thinks they may decide not to do that in an election season, and that he just might be able to still rendezvous with cute guys in the Union Station men's room ride this out and hold onto his seat in the Senate.

Based on a self-imposed deadline announced a month ago, the Idaho Republican, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after making advances towards an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room, was supposed to step down from the Senate tomorrow. That's clearly not going to happen.

As of Wednesday, Craig said he would await a judge's ruling on his request to withdraw his guilty plea, before making a final decision on whether to resign. That could take a couple of weeks, and perhaps longer depending on appeals and any possible new charges prosecutors may file.

But in a "Hardball" interview the other day, Craig lawyer Stanley Brand suggested the senator may disregard the outcome of his case in Minnesota, and may very well stick around regardless.

Here's a transcript of the exchange on HARDBALL with The Capretbagger's Steve Benen adding his commentary:

MATTHEWS: "Stan Brand, is your sense that the senator may well be able to hang on until the end of his term?"

BRAND:"I -- think that's conceivable, especially if he gets some type of relief in Minnesota. But I don't think it depends on that."

For those keeping score at home, as of a couple of weeks ago, a favorable ruling in Minnesota was the only thing that would keep Craig from resigning. Now, the senator may decide that a misdemeanor charge on his record isn't the end of the world.

Craig seems to be nearing the point in which he tells his colleagues, "If you want me to go, you're going to have to expel me."

And what of the Senate Ethics Committee investigation, which would disappear if Craig resigned? The senator's lawyer seems unconcerned.

MATTHEWS: "Let me ask you about the Ethics Committee. That's especially for you working within the Congress on ethics matters. Can you win his case in the Ethics Committee, if it comes to that? I know that no senator's been expelled by the Senate. I -- I think you have to go back almost to the Civil War, when they expelled people for joining and taking an oath to the Confederacy."

BRAND: "Right."

MATTHEWS: "What is the case? Would they..."

BRAND: "Well, again..."

MATTHEWS: "What's the worst the Senate could do to a senator..."

BRAND: "Again..."

MATTHEWS: ... "if he says, I'm staying?"

BRAND: "Yes. Again, I mean, I -- you know, I--they're -- it's inconceivable to me that the United States Senate will open the door to bringing cases against senators for misdemeanor, misdemeanors that have nothing to do with the performance of official duties."

Nothing in this suggests the good Senator from Idaho will actually come out and admit he's gay -- no, this pretty much proves that the guy will continue to lie about that -- just as he lied when he said he would resign -- and just as he lied when he pleaded guilty. Seems like he's not a very honest fellow, and will say whatever it take to to hold onto his job and fat perks.

If he doesn't resign then his senate seat will become extremely vulnerable in the 2008 election. Larry, the GOP is gonna spank you if don't resign!

Maybe that's exactly what he's hoping for...

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Comments (3)

Lee Ward:

Craig is a liability -- damaged goods -- in the eyes of the GOP. It doesn't matter if he's innocent or guilty - he's damaged and therefore his re-electability is lessened. They want him out - they don't care if he's innocent, and don't intend to allow him to stick around long enough to prove it one way or the other.

As we've seen so many times lately, when it comes to Republicans "the party" comes first and truth, justice and integrity all come somewhere further down the list.


Also, I don't expect him to be kicked out, as Brent Wilkes trial lawyers have subpoenaed several senators, and he is one of them. The senate can, together, quash the subpoena, but as a private citizen, he would be compelled to testify.

And you know the stall loving Craig has lots of inside info on some of this. Getting better and better, isn't it?

Lee Ward:

It would be interesting to see Craig turn the tables and start spilling the beans on his fellow Republicans, now wouldn't it...?


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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