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08-31-07, 10:57 AM #1
Senator pleads guilty to soliciting restroom sex from undercover officer after claiming entrapment
Tape Shows a Senator Protesting After Arrest
In the moments after Senator Larry E. Craig was arrested in an airport men’s room, he accused an undercover police sergeant of entrapping him, emphasized that he did not want to go to court or to jail and frequently said, “I don’t recall,” when asked about his reported sexual advances to the officer.
Audio of Police Interview With Larry Craig (mp3)
Police report: http://media.idahostatesman.com/smedia/2007/08/28/14/craig_police_report.source.pro d_affiliate.36.pdf
The tense exchanges between Mr. Craig, Republican of Idaho, and the sergeant were captured on a nine-minute audiotape made public on Thursday under the Minnesota public records law.
The officer, Sgt. Dave Karsnia of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police, read Mr. Craig his legal rights and tried to press him to confess to soliciting sex, calling Mr. Craig’s continued denials disrespectful and disappointing.
“Well, you’re not being truthful with me,” the sergeant said. “I’m kinda disappointed in you, Mr. Senator. I’m real disappointed in you right now.”
Mr. Craig, who was arrested on June 11, told the sergeant that he had been trying to go to the toilet when their feet “bumped” under the stalls.
“Next thing I knew, under the bathroom divider comes a card that says ‘Police,’ ” Mr. Craig said.
“Your foot came toward mine, mine came toward yours,” Mr. Craig said. “Was that natural? I don’t know. Did we bump? Yes, I think we did. You said so. I don’t disagree with that.”
Mr. Craig returned to the airport 11 days later to report that the officer had mistreated him and to obtain the name of the prosecutor in the case, police records show. On Aug. 1, Mr. Craig signed a form pleading guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct and mailed it to the court, which entered the plea on Aug. 8.
In the June 11 audiotape, broadcast for the first time by MSNBC, Mr. Craig denied that he was gay, saying, “I don’t do these kinds of things,” and added that the foot contact was inadvertent.
“I’m a fairly wide guy,” Mr. Craig said. “I tend to spread my legs when I lower my pants so they won’t slide. Did I slide them too close to yours?”
Since the news of his arrest became public on Monday, Mr. Craig has faced increasing calls to resign, and the Senate Republican leadership has removed him from his ranking committee positions.
Mr. Craig, who is up for re-election next year, has said he will decide next month whether to run again.
The leading group of gay Republicans, Log Cabin Republicans, said Thursday that Mr. Craig should step down.
“I think his statement is absurd, and I think his comments aren’t believable,” Patrick Sammon, president of the Washington-based group, said in a telephone interview. “He entered a guilty plea in an effort to sweep it under the rug, and it blew up in his face. I think he should take responsibility for it and resign.”
Sergeant Karsnia did not appear to present the senator with physical evidence of a crime, just his own account. The sergeant grew increasingly frustrated when the senator rejected his assertion that Mr. Craig had rubbed his left hand beneath the stall divider. The senator said he had reached to pick up a piece of toilet paper with his right hand.
“I’m disrespected right now,” the sergeant said, his voice rising in anger. “And I’m not trying to act like I have all kinds of power or anything. But you’re sitting here lying to a police officer.”
At one point, Mr. Craig suggested that he had been set up.
“You’re out to enforce the law,” Mr. Craig said to Sergeant Karsnia. “But you shouldn’t be out to entrap people, either.”
The sergeant said, “This isn’t entrapment.”
Sergeant Karsnia also told Mr. Craig that he would not make the arrest public. “I don’t call media,” he said.
The restroom is listed on Web sites that describe places for gay men to meet for sex, and the airport police have made multiple arrests in it in recent months. The senator said on the tape that he used that bathroom “regularly,” because he was a commuter using the airport but that he had never solicited sex.
“You saw something that didn’t happen,” he told the sergeant.
“Embarrassing,” Sergeant Karsnia said before ending the interview. “Embarrassing.”
William Yardley reported from Boise, Idaho, and Duff Wilson from Washington.
By WILLIAM YARDLEY and DUFF WILSON
Published: August 31, 2007
08-31-07, 01:00 PM #2
As a republican, I think he's an embarassement to the republican party. Based on his flip-flop, he is lying to either the court system, or his constituents, and that is wrong. He should resign, and come to terms with the homosexual lifestyle that he has been secretly leading.
I am begining to wonder what well known republican is going to be outed next.
08-31-07, 01:07 PM #3
What, a politician lying? Never!\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
08-31-07, 02:09 PM #4
He blew it
"When I'm driving along and I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN AHEAD,
I slow down, and then it occurs to me, I'm not afraid of small children"!
08-31-07, 07:01 PM #5
Ya know, God dont sleep.
Some quotes from the wonderful senator from Idaho:
New Orleans is "Baghdad on the Bayou"
"Fraud is the culture of Iraquis.I beleive that it is true of the state of Louisiana as well."
"Louisiana and New Orleans are the most corrupt governments in our country,and they always have been".
On Law Enforcementhold on to your hats for this one)
"A rookie cop on the ground in New Orleans,they pay him or her $17,000 starting pay and then wink and say ,"You'd better make the rest on the street".
(rookies got significantly more than that in N.O.)
of the lower 9th ward he said :
"I'm not humorous when I suggest we should turn it back to what it was ,a wetland"
Now I am not saying that everything is great down here,but for a senator of the United States to say things of this nature against citizens of this country,well as the title of this post states God dont sleep,it was real sweet that this all came about on or near the anniversary of the storm.
08-31-07, 07:19 PM #6
Gay GOP group joins call for senator's resignation
Gay GOP group joins call for senator's resignation
New York - The nation's largest gay Republican group — the Log Cabin Republicans — is joining those calling for Senator Larry Craig to resign because of his guilty plea in a men's room police sting operation.
And as the Republican political establishment distances itself from Craig, gay activists are expressing their contempt for Craig's “I'm not gay” comments. They say the lawmaker's response is a tragic entanglement of denial and hypocrisy.
The executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force says Craig's case portrays “the tragedy of homophobia.” Matt Foreman says some people create walls that separate themselves from who they really are............................................
08-31-07, 07:38 PM #7
Sen. Craig to resign Saturday, GOP insiders say
GOP officials say he will resign Saturday.
Story link from MSN:
08-31-07, 07:44 PM #8
He's a "flamer." Period.
09-05-07, 08:12 PM #9
Craig now back peddaling and wants to renig on his resigantion.
Reversing Craig's Plea Won't Be Easy
In a file photo U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, announces his resignation from the Senate at the old Boise Depot train station overlooking downtown Boise, Idaho, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007. Sen. Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting and may still fight for his Senate seat, his spokesman said Tuesday evening, Sept. 4, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)
By JOSHUA FREED
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The politics of being caught in an airport sex sting here are tough enough for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, but a legal fight against his guilty plea won't be any easier.
The Republican on Wednesday relayed word that he would resign his seat by Sept. 30 only if he fails to withdraw last month's guilty plea to a charge of disorderly conduct.
Legal experts say that it's tough to convince a judge to allow a guilty plea to be withdrawn, and that even if the tactic succeeds, it could backfire if it leads to a trial where the lurid allegations against the senator get a full public airing.
Craig has maintained he is innocent following his arrest by an undercover police officer who said the senator had behaved in an airport men's room like a man soliciting sex. He has said he mistakenly pleaded guilty to simply make the case go away.
He has already been sentenced. He paid $575 in fines and fees, and has a 10-day suspended jail sentence hanging over his head during his one-year unsupervised probation if he commits the same offense again.
He also signed each page of a three-page guilty plea agreement. On page one, just above his signature, are the words "I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty."
Craig had yet to file court papers on Wednesday seeking to challenge the plea in Minnesota.
"I think the odds are long," said Doug Kelley, a Minneapolis defense lawyer and former assistant U.S. attorney who was chief of staff to former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger. "I think he's got to show either that he was coerced into the plea, or that he didn't understand his legal rights at the time that he signed the document acknowledging his guilt."
Hoping to keep the matter quiet, Craig _ a rancher before he was first elected to Congress nearly three decades ago _ did not hire an attorney when he pleaded guilty. He's hired attorneys now, but they weren't commenting on Wednesday about their legal strategy.
A defendant who wants to overturn a guilty plea has to demonstrate a "manifest injustice" under the state's Rules of Criminal Procedure, said Steve Simon, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who has run a clinic for defense lawyers for 30 years. That's a high hurdle, he said.
"Very few motions to withdraw pleas are brought," Simon said. "Of those that are brought, few are granted."
He added, however, that in Craig's case "there are some very serious problems with the validity of that plea" because of the possibility that Craig may not have specifically waived his right to an attorney.
The police officer's Miranda warning to Craig covers only the police interrogation _ not the later court process. In his plea agreement Craig waived five specific rights, including the right to a trial, but not his right to an attorney. Hennepin County's standard plea petition includes a waiver of a right to an attorney but that wasn't used in Craig's case, Simon said.
A July 20 letter from prosecutor Christopher Renz to Craig laying out the proposed plea agreement made several references to an attorney. "Please review the document and to the extent that you wish, review the same with legal counsel," the letter said. The Metropolitan Airports Commission, which prosecuted the case, declined to make Renz available for comment on Wednesday.
Minnesota's judicial rules require a defendant who doesn't use an attorney to waive that right, and such an omission has been the basis for withdrawing other guilty pleas, Simon said. He added that because Craig did not use an attorney, the prosecutor has the burden of showing the plea was valid. If Craig had had a lawyer, the burden would have been on the senator to show the plea was invalid.
To withdraw his guilty plea, Craig would have to bring the motion before the same judge who handled the case. If the judge agreed, the prosecutor would be free to refile the case _ including a gross misdemeanor charge of interference with privacy that was dismissed in the plea agreement. That charge was based on a police sergeant's claim that Craig gazed into his stall.
Craig could then take the case to trial in search of an acquittal.
"Legally, I'll give him decent odds on that," Kelley said. "But PR-wise, he'll get murdered."
For starters, the prosecutor could be expected to put the police officer on the stand to testify about the protocol for bathroom sex. "I wouldn't think that would be much fun," Kelley said.
Whether or not Craig can win in the courtroom, he may believe that an appeal will help him politically.
Stanley Renshon, a political science professor of The City University of New York, doesn't think it would.
Renshon said a legal fight might only further anger Craig's constituents, who already believe the arrest has messed up the job he was elected to do, and who would now be asked to trust him again.
"I don't know legally whether it will do anything for him," Renshon said. "Politically, he's dead."
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed...........................................
09-06-07, 04:32 PM #10Banned
- Join Date
- Aguascalients, Mexico
- Rep Power
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we seek to deceive. Shows to go ya that telling the truth is just about the best way to go.
09-06-07, 04:38 PM #11
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