Remember how Larry Craig insists that he didn't talk to a lawyer before pleading guilty in the Minneapolis men's room case? Maybe that's true, but a report today in the Idaho Statesman adds a new wrinkle to that story: Four months before he was arrested in Minnesota, Craig hired criminal lawyer Billy Martin to advise him on whether he could sue the Statesman for investigating his sexual activities.
So let's make sure we have this straight. A U.S. senator is arrested for soliciting sex in a men's room after he's already hired a criminal lawyer to represent him in relation to allegations that he's solicited sex in a men's room -- and he doesn't think that it would be a good idea to tell the lawyer that he's been arrested?
Craig spokesman Dan Whiting says yes, indeed, that's exactly how this thing played out. "He never talked to counsel. He never talked to staff. He never talked to his wife. He didn't talk to anyone," Whiting tells the Statesman. "I absolutely guarantee it. I would bet my life on it."
The Statesman report contains another small amusement we hadn't seen before: On June 7, one of Craig's staffers -- a former trial lawyer himself -- wrote to the Statesman's publisher demanding that the Statesman and its reporter stop its investigation into Craig's sex life and "individually submit letters of apology to the senator and to his wife."
Craig was arrested in Minnesota four days later.
Maybe it's like the senator says.
"We're all creatures of habit," the senator explained in a completely different context -- a discussion about ways to avoid antibiotic-resistant staph infections -- earlier this week. "Habits are what we respond to daily, and we don't want to change our habits unless we're forced to, or unless knowledge tells us we ought to."