Larry Craig to Challenge Guilty Plea and Blames Press for It

Idaho Senator Larry Craig will attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in court and blames the press for pressuring him to make it, says William Martin, Craig’s attorney.

Larrycraigmugshot“Persuading a judge to withdraw a guilty plea is difficult but Craig will argue that he was under too much stress to knowingly plead guilty, Martin said. ‘He was under tremendous pressure,’ Martin said in a telephone interview. In particular, Martin cited pressure from Craig’s hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, which spent months investigating whether Craig engaged in homosexual encounters. Craig, who has denied such suggestions and accused the newspaper of conducting a ‘witch hunt,’ was so concerned about that investigation, he quickly pleaded guilty when arrested in the bathroom sex sting, Martin said. Craig did not consult with a lawyer or appear in court. He figured, ‘I’m innocent but if this will make it go away I’ll do it,’ Martin said.

Martin told the Today show that he’ll file court documents on Monday challenging the plea:

“Martin said Monday that Craig did not ‘knowingly and intelligently enter a guilty plea.’ The senator simply admitted conduct that ‘itself does not constitute a crime,’ Martin said. ‘He admits to going into the bathroom, he admits to moving his foot, he admits to reaching his hand down,’ Martin said on NBC’s ‘Today’ show. ‘That’s not a crime.'”

And in related news, the New York Times reports today: “Police and court files indicate that Mr. Craig’s case may have been handled more harshly than some of the others. For instance, he alone among the 40 men arrested (at the Minneapolis airport in a three-month period over the summer) was charged with both disorderly conduct and interference with privacy. The other men were charged with one or the other, or with indecent exposure or loitering. Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the airport and the law firm it hired to prosecute the cases, said Mr. Craig was the only man charged with two offenses because he had peered into the police officer’s stall and had used unspoken signals — foot tapping and hand motions — known as ways to solicit restroom sex.”

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  1. FizziekruntNT says

    And these are the actions of a senator? I don’t care what state you’re from Larry Craig, if you couldn’t handle your initial incident, you sure as hell don’t have any business legislating anything to anyone in this country. Piss off, slimebag.

  2. says

    Full ramming speed. It is time to break this self rightous stall queen and introduce him to reality. He is mentally ill and perverted without question.

  3. Brian says

    1. Nothing short of torture could make me plead guilty to something that would surely end my career.

    2. Where there’s smoke there’s fire… and there’s been a big pink smoky haze around Larry Craig for decades.

    3. No one reaches down and picks up random bits of toilet paper from a dirty airport bathroom floor. No one.

    4. No one’s stance is so wide that they touch other people’s shoes while taking a poop in a bathroom stall. No one.

    5. Anyone who has ever cruised a bathroom knows that the alleged behavior is 100% consistent with the general procedure for soliciting an under the stall hookup. There’s no way you could accidentally get all those signals right.

    Forget it, Larry honey. No one buys it. But thanks so much for sticking around and letting the repuglies wallow in their own hypocrisy for a while.

  4. says

    Oh Mary/Larry, no one real or fictional, present or absent, pressured you to do anything. You made your own choices all the way along. Give it up.

  5. Lorelei says

    Seriously, if a Senator can get up and whine that he didn’t know what to do when accused of a crime and he felt pressure and he didn’t ask for a lawyer blah blah blah… couldn’t every poor sap in the U.S. who didn’t graduate from high school and has trouble thinking straight ALSO go back to court and ask to yank their guilty pleas?

  6. Luke says

    Blaming the press? Typical of the GOP, I guess next it will be those ‘activist” judges on the Minnesota bench. Too bad he can’t try and be a real man and own up to what HE did, sorry, a coward. As a gay man, even I didn’t know all the secret codes of nasty bathroom sex, and he did? So, Mr Craig, no one is to blame for you wanting to get your kinks on in a toilet but you boo, sorry hypocrite.

    Want that edge of danger, well, now you see the side effect, and it isn’t the press that got you and your small thing into hot water, its called karma, and it isn’t nice to people of your ilk.

  7. alan says

    This development is completely delicious.

    It further exposes Craig as a lying hypocrite and will embarass the GOP to no end.

    In the meantime, the public may even learn that men who pick up other men in airport toilets are creepy closet-cases and a class apart from the vast majority of gay men who, duh, need only to go to a bar or to Manhunt to hook up.

  8. Gregg says

    If he can’t think clearly to deal with his own legal issue, how in the hell can he claim that he’s at all competent to be a LAWMAKER!!!???

  9. anon ( says

    Most prosecutors would win this with both hands behind their backs. Only “special treatment” would get this guilty verdict overturned–courts are not going to give precedent to these arguments winning as it invites chaos–every plea bargain overturned years later, etc. He’s already not passed Go, he’s already not collected $200. Over. Done.

  10. db says

    Although I have no love for Larry Craig and am glad to see him exposed as the hypocrite he is, I still feel that these bathroom stings are entrapment. If a police officer observes lewd behavior in a men’s restroom that is one thing, but in these cases the officer is encouraging it. And considering the amount of real crime (and bad driving) I think the officer’s time would be better spent doing something else.

    Also, the notion that he should resign over this incident is sad. At least in the case of McGreevy he did abuse his office in getting his boyfriend a job. I’m all for the embarrassment Craig is undergoing but the notion that he should be forced to resign over this is sad.

  11. Jordan says

    It totally serves him right for him to get this publicity, for his name to go down in history as the perv who trolled public restrooms for sex, and for his reputation to be drug through the “sewer” (so to speak), which was ALL by his own doing.

    What is sad yet unbelieveable at the same time is that he has YET to learn anything by any of this…first of which would be to begin to grow some balls (even gerbil-sized) and HELLO, admit you’re gay; and then go about to reconstruct your life and pick up the pieces & repair the damage you’ve done. Obviously he is clueless (and a coward) and it’s quite sad and inexcusable for someone of his age (and position) to act this way.

    Mental? Obviously. He needs rehab or religion (or a kick in the ass) FAST.

  12. Jay says

    This has nothing to do with being gay or not. It’s a case of a senator lying to the public for his own best interests. Either he committed a crime and lied to get out of it, or he didn’t and lied about it. Either way, he’s a dishonest bastard.

    And Jordan, fuck you. Lack of religion didn’t make him hit on someone in a restroom. Don’t equate morality with dishonesty.

  13. db says

    Jay, you are truly naive if you think this has nothing to do with being gay. If it were just a case of lying to get out of trouble the GOP would not be trying to get rid of him so quickly.

  14. Gregg says

    Just to clarify – when I say that Craig has no respect for the law, I didn’t mean to imply that these entrapment stings are good and right. I think they pretty much suck.

    But Craig was trying to use a guilty plea to make a problem “go away”. This shows that he neither understands how the law works, nor has respect for truth within the law if he is indeed claiming innocence after he has already said that he’s guilty.

  15. el polacko says

    uhh.. wait a minute… didn’t the newspaper article come out AFTER his arrest ?? besides, if he was ‘under pressure from their witch hunt’, then maybe doing wacky things in a bathroom stall was not the best
    choice for passing the time at the airport.
    jeeze dude, get your story (you’ll pardon the expression) straight.

  16. Jay says

    DB — to clarify, I’m sure that the GOP is very, very concerned with his behavior and are trying to get rid of him to get another gay scandal off their plate ASAP. No doubt there.

    But as an issue for the public, it doesn’t matter if the senator is a closeted gay man, bisexual, curious, or whether he really was entrapped (which, no, I don’t believe.. he shows a clear pattern of secretive gay behavior). What matters is that he lied repeatedly and is continuing to lie, and is now trying to game the court system to save his career.

  17. db says

    Jay, again, it is certainly a gay issue for the public. The majority of the public–especially in Idaho–view him not as a man who lies but as a gay man who lies. I don’t defend his actions and though I think he is certainly guilty he was entrapped by a policeman giving signals in a public restroom. He is certainly a hypocrite and I’m glad to see him go down but the whole situation is not good for gays–just take a look at late night talk shows or the raft of comedians commenting.