Larry Craig Resigns, But Won't Go Away Quietly

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

As political scandals go, Sen. Larry Craig's (R-Idaho) was incredibly efficient. The story broke late Monday; Craig resigned early Saturday. The start-to-finish timeline was almost impressive.

That is, if it is finished.

After his speech yesterday, a CNN correspondent asked Craig if he stood by his claim of innocence. "Absolutely," he said, adding: "We'll be fighting this like hell."

At first blush, this sounded a bit like O.J. vowing to catch the real killer, but Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) indicated yesterday morning he'd actually like to see Craig clear his name, withdraw his guilty plea -- and stay in the Senate.
"I'd like to see Larry Craig go back to court, seek to withdraw his guilty plea and fight the case," Senator Arlen Specter said on 'Fox News Sunday'. Drawing on his earlier experience as District Attorney of Philadelphia, Specter said, "On the evidence Senator Craig wouldn't be convicted of anything. And he's got his life on the line and 27 years in the House and Senate, and I'd like to see him fight the case because I think he could be vindicated."
Specter also said it was not too late for Craig to change the status of his resignation.
"He said he intends to resign. When you have a statement of intent to resign that intent could change," he said. "And if he could change the underlying sense of the case, feel of the case."
"Listen you can go to court and withdraw a guilty plea, of course disorderly conduct is not moral turpitude," Specter said. If he went to trial "he wouldn't be convicted of anything. And if he went to court, was acquitted, all of this hullabaloo would have no basis."

Sure, if we want to get technical about it, Craig did, in fact, say, "[I]t is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30th," which I suppose could suggest Craig has left himself a little wiggle room.

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