Idaho Sen. Craig files papers to withdraw his guilty plea

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS &#8212 Sen. Larry Craig filed court papers Monday seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport sex sting, arguing he entered the plea under stress resulting from media inquiries into his sexuality.

Craig, an Idaho Republican, pleaded guilty in August to disorderly conduct following his June arrest in a sting operation in a men’s bathroom at the Minneapolis airport. A police report alleged that Craig had solicited sex from a male officer at the airport, which the senator denied.

In a “state of intense anxiety,” Craig “felt compelled to grasp the lifeline offered to him by the police officer” and plead guilty to the disorderly conduct charge in hopes the matter would not be made public, said the court papers filed in Hennepin County District Court.

The filing said Craig panicked and accepted the plea instead of seeking the advice of an attorney. As a result, Craig’s guilty plea was not “knowingly and understandingly made,” and the evidence against him insufficient to support the plea, the papers said.