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Transcript of Sen. Craig Police Interview Released

Scary, is all I can think after reading (and hearing the audio) of the just-released transcript of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's police interview. For those who haven't followed the story, Craig was arrested for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport bathroom back in June 2007 and, apparently without consulting a lawyer, plead guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct earlier this month. During the police interview, Craig's tone was (in my view) entirely respectful; he didn't try to pull rank, but the officer took umbrage just the same:

I know you're not going to fight me. But that's not the point. I would respect you and I still respect you. I don't disrespect you but I'm disrespected right now and I'm not tying to act like I have all kinds of power or anything, but you're sitting here lying to a police officer.

If a police officer can treat a United States senator in this manner, imagine how many run-of-the-mill, less-educated or -savvy criminals are intimidated into pleading guilty for what they might not have done. That's one aspect of this that's scary. 

Of course,  what's also troubling is that Craig couldn't discern even from the interview how weak the police officer's case was and apparently didn't understand the value of calling a lawyer. Even if Craig did engage in lewd conduct, a skilled lawyer could have helped Craig understand the legal and political implications of a guilty plea. How can we expect our representatives to defend our rights when, apparently, some of them don't understand these rights themselves?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 30, 2007 at 05:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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