Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Larry Craig: The Plot Thickens

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 29, 2007

Not only has Larry Craig come out and said he’s going to stay in the Senate unless his case isn’t dismissed, but now it looks like he’ll stick around even if the case isn’t dismissed:

Remember how Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was going to resign from the Senate on Sept. 30? Then remember how he was maybe not going to resign if — and only if — he could get his guilty plea withdrawn by Sept. 30? And then remember how Craig put off his plan to resign because the judge hearing his case hasn’t ruled yet?

Well, here’s the latest from Craig’s attorney. Appearing on “Hardball” Thursday night, lawyer Stanley Brand said that it’s “conceivable” that Craig will remain in office through the end of his term, “especially if he gets some type of relief in Minnesota.” “But,” Brand added quickly, “I don’t think it depends on that.”

Translation: Craig may be sticking around even if the judge in Minneapolis doesn’t let him withdraw his guilty plea.

Heheheheh.  But it gets better:

As for the Senate Ethics Committee? Brand said he thinks it’s “inconceivable” that the Senate “will open the door to bringing cases against senators” for committing “misdemeanors that have nothing to do with the performance of official duties.”

“I know they say they have the right to discipline people for bringing discredit on the Senate,” Brand said. “That’s a vague standard. That’s well beyond where we are in 2007. I can’t imagine that 99 other senators want to be judged by that standard.”

Sounds like Larry Craig might be prepared to drop several weighty dimes on his colleagues if they don’t lay off.

And if you’re wondering why this latest turnabout hasn’t been screaming headline news in the press, it’s probably because the Republicans really don’t want to call attention to it.  Contrast that with their actions of just a few weeks ago, when they couldn’t wait to publicly shove knives into his back under the pretext of showing how devoted to pleasing their homophobic base by getting rid of an outed gay Senator accountability they were — though the truth was that he is a Senator from a state with a Republican governor who will be appointing his successor, whereas his fellow Senator Diaper Dave Vitter’s long-standing use of (female) hookers was forgiven because Vitter’s state has a Democrat in the governor’s mansion.

What changed, from then to now?  Why are the Republicans suddenly willing to let Craig serve out the rest of his term — even though it almost certainly means that they’ll lose that seat next year to a Democrat?

Craig’s lawyer’s hints at his client’s willingness to squeal on his buds to save his own bacon provides a clue.  See, this airport-john imbroglio is not the only legal mess Craig’s involved in right now.  As Emptywheel points out, he’s likely to be getting (if he hasn’t already) a subpoena to testify in the Brent Wilkes/MZM trial. 

Brent Wilkes is the evil genius behind the Duke Cunningham corruption scandal, and he’s quite capable of taking out a good chunk of the existing Senate Republican caucus.   But if Craig stays a sitting Senator, he has a much better chance to resist a subpoena — a fact that I’m sure Craig’s lawyer has pointed out to various GOP stringpullers over the past few weeks.  The Republicans may have decided to burn one of their Senate seats to protect the others.

2 Responses to “Larry Craig: The Plot Thickens”

  1. whig said

    Hoist by their own petard, comes to mind.

  2. Charles said

    I think he only gets immunity from subpoena while the Senate is in session. Recall that Tom DeLay and William Jefferson (not to mention many others) have been indicted while in office.

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