Senator Larry Craig
OK, I try not to come to conclusions about people before I know all the facts (perhaps I should say "as many as possibly can be known" since no one can know all the facts). If you've ever been involved in an event that was covered by the media, you know how difficult it is to know much that's accurate from them (not to be overly critical�to a large degree it's inherent in the nature of things). So I start by looking at a source document: the police report filed by Sgt. Karsnia, the arresting officer. Here are some excerpts:
I entered the men's restroom and proceeded to an unoccupied stall....
At 1213 hours I could see an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.... The male was later identified by Idaho driver's license as Larry Edwin Craig . I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, "fidget" with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes....
At 1215 hours, the male in the stall to the left of me... exited... Craig entered the stall and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door.... From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig... At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. Craig tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly.... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area.
At 1217 hours, I saw Craig swipe his hand under the stall divider for a few seconds.... I was only able to see the tips of his fingers.... Craig swiped his hand again for a few seconds... to where I could see more of his fingers. Craig then swiped his hand a third time... I could see Craig... had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.
At about 1219 hours, I held my Police Identification in my right hand down by the floor so that Craig could see it. With my left hand near the floor I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, "No!" I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall... without flushing the toilet. Without causing a disturbance, I discretely motioned Craig to exit the restroom. I noticed that not all the stalls were occupied....
At this point, according to Sgt. Karsnia, they go to the Police Operations Center although Craig is reluctant and even resistant (nothing indicates that he resisted arrest).
I asked him for his driver's license.... Craig handed me a busines card that identified himself as a United State Senator as he stated, "What do you think about that?" I responded by setting his business card down on the table and again asking him for his driver's license.
Craig provided me his driver's license. In a recorded post-Miranda interview, Craig stated the following:
- He was standing outside of the stalls for 1-2 minutes waiting for the stall
- He has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine
- He reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor
- He is unable to his gold wedding ring off of his left ring finger
It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper. During the interview, Craig either disagreed with me or "didn't recall" the events as they happened.
I've omitted what seem to me to be less important details�in the interest of brevity�and a statement of Sgt. Karsina's experience as to behavior commonly exhibited by persons engaged in "lewd conduct"�not to say that this not relevant, but I myself would probably have remained totally clueless about any such behavior for the rest of my life, but for this story (so I can easily believe there are many people who were, till now, similarly clueless, including Sen. Craig).
There are additional documents available at the link above. The only other one I want to excerpt is the Petition to Enter Plea of Guilty�Misdemeanor:
I, Larry Edwin Craig, am the defendant in the above action [State of Minnestor vs Larry Edwin Craig].... I state to the court that:
- I understand the charges made against me in this case, which are: Disorderly Conduct... and Interference with Privacy... I am pleading guilty to the offense of Disorderly Conduct as a Misdemenor.
- I am pleading guilty to the charge... as alleged because on June 11, 2007,... in the restroom... in Lindbergh Terminal, I did the following: Engaged in conduct which I knew or should have known tended to arouse alarm or resentment of others, which conduct was physical (versus verbal) in nature.
- I understand that the court will not accept a plea of guilty from anyone who claims to be innocent.
- I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty.
- I am not represented by an attorney.
- I understand that I have the following constitutional rights which I knowingly voluntarily and intelligently give up (waive) by entering this plea of guilty:...
- Understanding the above I am entering my plea of guilty freely and voluntarily and without any promises except as noted in number 11 below.
- I am entering my plea of guilty based on the following plea agreement with the Prosecutor:... sentence is 10 days of jail time and a fine of $1000.00; 10 days of jail and $500.00 of the fine are stayed for one year on the conditions that Larry Edwin Craig does not commit any same or similar offenses, Larry Edwin pays the unstayed fine of $500.00...
Is this behavior and the behavior reported all over the news media, such as not informing anyone in his life about these events, consistent with the denials that Sen. Craig is making? It's hard to believe. I understand him wanting to make it go away quickly and quietly. Easily. But putting myself in his shoes, if it had happened the way he describes, I have a hard time imagining myself accepting this plea agreement without even talking to an attorney (who, by the way, is ethically bound to confidentiality) or anyone else.