Page 2 of 2   <      

Craig Is Expected To Resign Today

Republican sources said Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will probably name Lt. Gov. Jim Risch to serve the remainder of Craig's term, although a spokesman for Otter told reporters that no decision had been made.

Risch served as governor for seven months last year after Dirk Kempthorne left the job to become interior secretary, and Risch had expressed interest in Craig's seat if the senator opted to retire, as some political observers had speculated even before the scandal. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) is also believed to be interested.

Craig was arrested June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after stretching his foot under a restroom stall partition and touching the foot of the undercover officer. In the police report, the officer said Craig tapped his foot "as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct."

When he was detained, Craig showed the officer his Senate business card and said, "What do you think about that?"

Pressure on Craig escalated as details of his arrest and guilty plea came out. On Thursday, airport police distributed the audio and transcript of the eight-minute interview conducted immediately after Craig's arrest, in which the arresting officer questioned the senator and told him that his recollection of the events was "unbelievable."

Court records showed that Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct that "tended to arouse alarm or resentment in others" on Aug. 8, paid a $500 fine and was sentenced to one year's probation.

Craig has not been seen in public since Tuesday, when he told reporters "I am not gay" and denied wrongdoing. He said he regretted his guilty plea and had never told his family, friends or staff about the incident.

He said he pleaded guilty because his hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, had been investigating his sexual orientation. He said he had hoped to quietly resolve the case to avoid what he called the paper's "witch hunt."


<       2

© 2007 The Washington Post Company