The Minneapolis judge who heard Sen. Larry Craig’s request to withdraw his guilty plea on disorderly conduct charges today says he won’t make a decision in the case for at least a week, throwing into question Craig’s plan — if it ever was a plan — to resign Sunday.
As you’ll recall, Craig went before the TV cameras in Boise on Sept. 1 to make what seemed like an announcement of his resignation in the wake of news that he’d pleaded guilty to a criminal charge arising out of his wide-stancing, toe-tapping, hand-swiping conduct in an airport men’s room. But Craig, buoyed by words of support from Sen. Arlen Specter, chose his words carefully that day, saying only that it was his “intent to resign from the Senate” effective Sept. 30.
One aide to Craig subsequently said that the senator was keeping his options open and that he might not resign if he was able to get his guilty plea withdrawn before Sept. 30. Another aide said that Craig almost certainly would resign by Sept. 30. A Republican “source” now tells CNN that Craig wants to find some way to remain in the Senate and won’t resign so long as the judge’s ruling is still pending.
Asked about his plans Tuesday, Craig himself said: “We are waiting for the legal determinations, and I have nothing more to say.” The press seems to be viewing that as a “no comment.” But given the way Craig previously announced he was resigning without actually announcing that he was resigning, we’ll take it to mean that Craig doesn’t plan to go anywhere until all the “legal determinations” about his case have been made.
Update: No further tea-leaf reading is necessary: Craig said this afternoon that he’ll be staying in office “for now.”