Tuesday, September 25, 2007

If He Did It

Senator Craig says he wasn’t soliciting sex in the bathroom, and he is trying to withdraw his guilty plea. If he’s successful, and if he doesn’t get some other plea bargain or the charges dropped, or if hell freezes over, he’s going to go to trial. At trial he’s going to have lots of ‘splainin’ to do. In no particular order:

No! When Officer Karsnia showed his police credentials under the door, Craig exclaimed “No!” My reaction on seeing that would be to wonder what is going on. I probably wouldn’t say anything but would just wonder why some guy is waving a cop badge under the stall. So when Craig said “No,” what did he mean, and why did he say it? I took it to be the equivalent of saying “Oh Sh*t, I'm in trouble now.”

Drivers License. Karsnia asked Craig for his drivers license. Instead, Craig handed Karsnia his business card showing that he was a senator. Why the card instead of the license? Was Craig looking for a reaction, or did Craig really think the policeman would accept a business card instead of a drivers license as identification.

Lawyer. Craig says he did not talk to a lawyer. However, he stopped by the police station a week later and told an Officer Snedker that he needed contact information for a lawyer. Snedker put Craig on the phone to Karsnia, and Karsnia wrote of conversation that Craig “demanded the information for the law firm.” Two officers say Craig mentioned being represented. Does Craig say they are both lying?

Who solicited who? Karsnia’s account has him saying little to Craig before he turned on the tape; basically just arrested him. Early on the tape Craig says “You solicited me.” If Karsnia hadn’t mentioned “solicitation,” but rather peeping and disorderly conduct, then Craig saying “You solicited me” is like the guy who, upon being told his wife has been murdered, says “I didn’t shoot her.”

Craig knew the drill. And think about this a bit. If a cop arrested you for solicitation in these circumstances, and you had no idea that the foot taping ritual was solicitation, wouldn’t you ask “What? Solicited for what? What are you talking about?” So even if Karsnia told Craig he was arrested for solicitation, Craig knew that the stall footsies was a means of soliciting. Craig knew the drill.

Paper. Karsnia asked “How many times did you put your hand under the stall?” Craig said “I don't recall. I remember reaching down once. There was a piece of toilet paper back behind me and picking it up.” So, one, Craig would have us believe he picked up a piece of toilet paper. Well, why? Did he plan to use it? Was his stall out? Describe it; how many squares? What did he do with it after he picked it up?

Why did Craig also say “There was a piece of paper on the floor, I picked it up” and “I recall picking the paper up.” Have you ever heard anyone describe toilet paper as “paper.” I think “paper” and “toilet paper” have two completely different meanings.

Toilet paper. Two, Craig said the toilet paper was “back behind” him. Try some time to sit on a toilet and pick up something that is back behind you on the floor. If Craig was sitting on the toilet, with his pants down, leaning back to pick up something behind him is unlikely in the extreme. Especially if it’s just a piece of toilet paper.

Flushed. “Craig told Karsnia “I sit down, urn, to go to the bathroom.” If so, why then didn’t he flush the toilet when he left the stall? Also, I expect Karsnia will testify that he didn't hear Craig lowering or pulling up his pants, or zipping, or unrolling toilet paper.

A tawdry business.


Anonymous said...

KTVB Channel 7 news interviewed Judge Deborah Bail regarding her views on overturning a guilty plea. Although the motions are seldom heard in Ada County, she said the issues considered are:
a) the person's education level,
b) whether they have any mental illnesses,
c) whether they have any learning disabilities,
d) if they have a "responsible occupation" (meaning they should be able to understand the charges),
e) the length of time between the issuance of the citation and the filing of the guilty plea, to determine if the person felt "pressured" to enter a plea and had time to seek legal advice.

Gee, which of these do you think apply to Senator Wide Stance?

Alan said...

I think that judges lean toward allowing the evidence to come out in court. It's pretty common that a judge will overturn a default judgment, the idea being that the judge prefers an airing of the facts over a technical verdict.

The downside for the MN judge is that allowing Craig to withdraw his plea tends to open up the floodgates for others. On the other hand, how many guys really want to go trial instead of of just pleaeding out?

To amswer your question, I'd guess, uh, none of the above (unless I want to get really snarky).

Sisyphus said...

Good post Alan. Just one point on your comment. This really isn't analagous to a default judgment in the civil context. That occurs as a technical matter when someone doesn't appear in Court in the time alotted. While it is true judges bend over backwards to allow all their day in court, that's not what happened with Craig. He willingly participated in the process which ended the case and now wants to undo it. There is another concept in law known as res judicata which protects the finality of decisions fairly decided with all participants. The law abhors do-overs unless the first one was unfair. And like you I have a hard time seeing it. But I'd love to see him do the splainin.

Alan said...

I agree, there is a distinction between not showing up and losing, and showing up but admitting defeat. I can see a judge being more lenient in the former, less in the latter.

I guess we'll have to wait until next week to see what the judge decides.

steelhead said...

Is there any information about Craig's 42 foot boat located at the Capital Yacht Club in D.C.? Is that his HQ for his DL activity?

Anonymous said...

When Craig flashed his business card he was fishing for the cop to solicit a bribe - which I'm sure he would have used to his advantage. (Craig's).

Alan said...

I hadn't heard about the boat. Interesting.

Sisyphus said...

Statesman had a photo of him leaving his yacht this morning on the front page. He lives there having just sold his DC home. The picture made coffe come out my wife's nose because he was carrying a purse.