The Statesman made me do it! The cop made me an offer I couldn't refuse! I'm not a lawyer! Its not my fault! I was a victim of my own emotions! That pretty much sums up Craig's denials of guilt in his Court filing on Monday. The stark denial of personal responsibility belies everything a law and order Republican is supposed to stand for. I'm just waiting for supporters to accuse the cop of being gay, Democrat or both. Oh wait: http://www.idahostatesman.com/letters/story/153466.html
Not having read the cases, the argument that has the most appeal is the "promise" made by the cop that if Craig pled guilty there would be no press. But its inextricably intertwined with the other assertions mostly about lack of representation. While a Minnesota Court might give this argument the benefit of doubt the court of public opinion will be merciless. I say give him all the rope he wants.
Craig pleads that he didn't have the assistance of counsel which we must assume would have disuaded him from entering the guilty plea. But would counsel have been successful in discouraging this course of action? Wouldn't the consequences of a court battle still have induced the senator to take his chances? And wouldn't the Senator be painfully aware of the consequences of subsequent public disclosure of the guilty plea since that was the reason he was pleading guilty in the first place? You can't have your cake and eat it to. He gambled and lost.
Then there's this gem: “Senator Craig is not a lawyer, and like any other non-lawyer, should not be expected to understand the intricacies of constitutional law.” I don't care what you charge for a retainer how does a lawyer make that statement with a straight face? Although it would help explain the unconstitutional expansion of FISA, most of the Patriot Act, and the abolition of the writ of habeaus corpus. The statement certainly lends credence to the notion that Craig is unfit to be a lawmaker.
But the claim of lack of counsel strains all credulity. A sitting senator doesn't know any better than to consult with counsel? Arlen Specter is a former prosecuting attorney and seems to be his friend. Craig was specifically mirandized and waived his right to counsel without blinking an eye when talking to police. His own affidavit states that he didn't seek the advice of counsel but only as to THE DATE OF ARREST! They cherry picked the police report omitting the follow up pages where Craig made the direct assertion to the police that he had counsel. And I sympathize being overcome with emotion but I've never heard of six week sustained panic. He looked fine in IF for the July 4th parade.
And please everyone knows when you're looking at Court documents a legally trained person might be of use. The rights specifically waived on the guilty plea all involve circumstances where counsel would be there to assist, making the right to counsel implicit. The plea also requests of the Defendant to state whether he is represented and which Senator Craig specifically indicated he is not. That does not mean he didn't consult with one. But it certainly demonstrates that he waived the right to have one in this instance. Some Democrats may have given Craig the benefit of the doubt on his intelligence but not even a Republican will after that assertion.
But I hope I'm wrong and the Court grants the motion. A trial will be very informative. Many of us are very curious about the signaling and tapping that apparently has been going on discretely right in front of us for years. We look forward to the cop explaining on the stand the full depth of his knowledge of this subculture. We want the Senator to explain how he knew the cop had solicited him. We await with bated breath how the wide stance was performed with his pants down or if they weren't down, his explanation of why he was sitting down. I'd love to see Billy Martin exclaim to the jury "If he didn't sit, you must aquit." I'd like to know why he didn't flush or why he told an identifying officer he would not obey his direction. We want to watch a law and order Republican accuse a cop of lying under oath because one of 'em is.
But of all the lies being told I don't think the Senator is lying about one thing. I absolutely believe he didn't tell his family one bit of this sordid tale while it was unfolding. Now why wouldn't he tell Suzanne, who had just defended his sexuality to a board of strangers, that he'd been falsely accused of lewd behavior? Sure he was embarrassed but was that anything compared to board of inquisistion at the Stateman? Or is Craig just used to lying to even the closest people around him. Did he see with sudden clarity the fragility of the closet he put himself in? Were the years of denial and repression disclosed at the Tuesday press conference the last remnants of a facade he created when he married Suzanne and adopted her children in 1983 after rebutting similar accusations? Was the guilty plea the last desparate act of a sad man clinging to the closet door?
In any event, if the strategy is to clear his name it seems likely do the opposite. The Republican leadership was quick to throw him under a bus, not because he brings scandal on the party, they have plenty of that. Neither was leadership motivated because this scandal distracts the public from the repackaging of the Iraq war, because ain't nobody buying it. They got rid of him because they were aware of the house of cards Larry had built for himself and when it folded they knew he would continue to cling to the construct of delusion he created. I really hope Larry gets some professional help but he doesn't need it from lawyers.