What's Next, Larry?


It’s another disappointment for Sen. Larry Craig.

The Senate Ethics Committee rejected a request to stop the investigation into an ethics complaint filed against the senator in the wake of his June arrest for lewd conduct, and subsequent guilty plea, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Craig’s new attorney, Stanley Brand, had made the request earlier today, stating that the events were unrelated to Craig’s official duties.

In the letter sent in response to Craig’s request, the Ethics Committees states that it is their right to investigate “members who engage in improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate.”

The letter also pointedly hints that ethics investigations have been called off in the past when subjects of such investigations resign their posts.

Craig originally announced his intention to resign from the Senate during a press conference on Saturday. The resignation was to be effective Sept. 30. But that one sticky word, “intention,” came into play on Tuesday, when word was leaked that Craig added the word to his speech to give him wiggle room to get out of the commitment.

Craig now states that he will fight for his seat if he is allowed to withdraw his guilty plea in Minnesota before Sept. 30.

“It is my intent to fight the case before the Ethics Committee while I am a sitting Senator. I would prefer to have that case resolved on its merits,” Craig said in a written statement. “The letter sent today from the Committee to Senator McConnell does not address the arguments laid out by my attorney earlier today. I hope that Committee addresses those arguments sooner, rather than later, so that I can have my name cleared.”

In the meantime, his office, and the state government, are proceeding as if he will step down at the end of the month.