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Larry Craig to Forego Further Appeals

Ex-Senator Larry Craig has decided to give up on his appeals of his conviction for the bathroom stall sex-sting incident.

Craig is now back in Idaho. His tenure as senator expired this week.

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Sen. Larry Craig Guilty Plea to Stand

In other news, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has denied Sen. Larry Craig's attempt to reverse his guilty plea in the bathroom solicitation case. On the entrapment issue:

They cited a precedent ruling that said entrapment "exists only where the criminal intent originates in the enforcement officials of the government rather than in the mind of the accused."...."Here, the complaint clearly indicates that the criminal intent originated in the mind of appellant, not in the officer."

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Arguments Heard in Appeal of Larry Craig Bathroom Sting Conviction

The Minnesota Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments in Sen. Larry Craig's appeal of the denial of his motion to vacate his guilty plea for foot-tapping in an airport bathroom stall to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The attorney, Billy Martin, told the three-judge panel that Craig's behavior was "as consistent with innocence as it is with guilt."

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Late Night Open Thread: Larry Craig Gets His Ya Yas Out

with apologies to the Rolling Stones.

Via Crooks and Liars: Video of Sen. Larry Craig in the Senate saying:

"We won't let [those foreigners] jerk us around by the gas nozzle."

Too funny. This is an open thread.

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Senate Ethics Committee Reprimands Larry Craig

The Senate Ethics Committee today issued a public letter of reprimand to Idaho Sen. Larry Craig.

In a letter signed by all six members of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the members affirmed the initial guilty plea that Craig signed after an undercover officer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport arrested him in a men's room sting.

....In addition, members admonished Craig for trying to use the influence of his office to avoid arrest and failing to notify the committee that he had used his campaign funds to pay his legal fees, a violation of Senate rules.

The full letter is here (pdf.)[More...]

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Larry Craig Has Eight New Accusers, Denies All

Bump and Update: Larry Craig denies the new allegations.

There are now a total of 8 accusers. (ABC News report here, but see McJoan's comment below.) Where's Larry Craig this week? Heading to Bali.

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Original Post: 12/2/07

The Idaho Statesman has new allegations against Larry Craig.

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Sen. Larry Craig Filing: His Conduct Was Constitutionally Protected

Lawyers for Sen. Larry Craig filed their "Statement of the Case" (pdf) yesterday in the appeal from the court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

They have added a argument that his conduct was constitutionally protected and the statute under which he was charged is overbroad. The ACLU previously included this argument in a friend of court brief on his behalf.

His arguments now:

  • the disorderly conduct statute is unconstitutional as applied to the facts of Craig's case
  • the plea was not accurate, voluntary or intelligent
  • the evidence was insufficient to support the plea
  • the plea is invalid because the judge never signed anything approving it.

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Larry Craig Files Appeal from Denial of Guilty Plea Withdrawal

Bump and Update: Craig has filed his appeal. It's four pages but doesn't go into the grounds. And don't expect a ruling anytime soon:

Craig's lawyers must first order and file a transcript of his Sept. 26 hearing. Once that has been filed, his lawyers have 60 days to file a brief outlining his appeal. Then, prosecutors have 45 days to file their response to his appeal. Once those are filed, the court sets a date for oral arguments -- which often occurs about six to eight months later. Ninety days after the oral arguments, the judge issue a decision.

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Original Post: Larry Craig Slams Romney, Will Appeal Conviction

Sen. Larry Craig is making the tv rounds. Sunday, he vowed to appeal the denial of the motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

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Sen. Larry Craig: Court Denies Plea Withdrawal

Bad news for Sen. Larry Craig. The court has denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

“Because the defendant’s plea was accurate, voluntary and intelligent, and because the conviction is supported by the evidence ... the Defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea is denied,” Hennepin County Judge Charles Porter wrote.

Here's the Order (pdf).

The question now: Will Craig appeal?

Update: Craig will not resign before the end of his term.

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Prosecution Accuses Sen. Larry Craig of "Politicking"

Minnesota prosecutor Christopher Renz has responded to Senator Larry Craig's Motion to Withdraw his Guilty Plea.

Denying Craig's motion "prevents further politicking and game playing on the part of the defendant in relation to his plea," Renz wrote.

Renz wrote that Craig didn't decide to withdraw his plea until after he was hurt by the publicity of the allegations...."The defendant chose to plead guilty and consciously took that risk. The defendant's current pursuit of withdrawal of his guilty plea is reactionary, calculated and political."

Renz also complains that if Craig is allowed to withdraw his plea, there will be a "deluge" of similar requests from other defendants. His support for that belief apparently is a single call received from another defendant.

Renz writes of several calls he had with Craig before the plea. In one, his notes say he advised Craig to seek counsel.

You can read the 41 page memorandum brief here (pdf). His affidavit (with attachments)is here.

Some thoughts:

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Sen. Larry Craig Returns to Senate

Sen. Larry Craig has returned to Washington and resumed his Senate duties.

Some shunned him, some were friendly. His hearing on his motion to withdraw his guilty plea is September 26.

Meanwhile, the bathroom where he was busted has now become a tourist attraction.

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Sen. Larry Craig Hearing Set for Sept. 26

Blogger Beldar just got off the phone with the Hennepin, County Court Clerk. He was trying to find out if there was a Form 11 in the file showing Craig had been advised of and waived his right to counsel.

The Clerk said she didn't see one and told Beldar a hearing has been set for September 26th at 1:30 pm on Craig's motion to withdraw the plea.

Good work, Beldar. For anyone who hasn't read the motion yet, here it is (pdf), with exhibits. There's also a lively discussion by several lawyers in the comments here.

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Larry Craig Files Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Update: Sen. Craig's motion to withdraw his guilty plea is available here.

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The Idaho Statesman reports Larry Craig's motion to vacate his guilty plea have now been filed. CNN has more. I'm waiting to find a copy and will post them when available.

Some reported quotes:

“While in this state of intense anxiety, Senator Craig felt compelled to grasp the lifeline offered to him by the police officer; namely, that if he were to submit to an interview and plead guilty, then none of the officer’s allegations would be made public,” said the documents filed in Hennepin County District Court.

“Thus, rather than seek legal advice from an attorney to assist him in publicly fighting these charges and potentially protract the issue, Senator Craig’s panic drove him to accept a guilty plea, the terms of which offered him what he thought was a private, expeditious resolution of this matter,” the papers said.

Craig’s filing argued that his guilty plea was not “knowingly and understandingly made.” It also argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the plea as a matter of law.”

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Larry Craig to File Motion to Withraw Plea Monday

Larry Craig's lawyer Billy Martin said today he will file papers with the court in Minnesota tomorrow seeking to withdraw Craig's guilty plea.

Martin would not disclose the grounds, but said he was not concerned about Craig's political survival.

My job is to get him back to where he was before his rights were taken away," Martin said.

I'm still thinking, as I've been since August 30th, that the principal ground will be that the plea form (pdf)Craig mailed in did not advise him of his right to counsel. (Video here, about 3 minutes in.)

As other grounds, there's the argument that the facts he admitted to don't constitute a crime and in my view, a much weaker argument that he was illegally arrested because he was on his way to vote in DC and the Constitution prevents lawmakers from being arrested on their way to a vote.

Update: CNN has more, including statements from a source hinting at the grounds. All grounds will go to his plea not being made intelligently and knowingly because of his rights' violations.

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Calif. Appeals Court Tosses Mens' Room Arrest Conviction

Could this help Larry Craig? A three judge panel in California reversed a conviction yesterday for soliciting sex in a men's bathroom:

[T]he ruling, which threw out the conviction of Stephen Lake, 51, did not address whether the bathroom stings were discriminatory because they targeted only homosexual activity. Instead, judges Donald Black, Kent Levis and Debra Kazanjian ruled that prosecutors did not establish that someone was likely to be present who would have been offended by Lake's conduct, an element needed to prove a crime took place.

Criag was charged with this section (pdf) of the disorderly conduct statute:

(3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.

The factual basis for his guilty plea (pdf) was that he engaged in conduct he knew or should have known "tended to arouse alarm or resentment of others."

Could the prosecution have established, as they failed to do in California, that someone was likely to be present who would be alarmed or feel resentment by Craig's toe-tapping and hand movements?

Another question: Will Craig raise the issue that the sting is unconstitutional because it only targets homosexual behavior?

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