The Larry Craig Bust

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Aug. 28 2007 5:01 PM

The Larry Craig Bust

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Around noon on June 11, Sgt. Dave Karsnia entered a men's room stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and sat on a toilet. That wouldn't ordinarily be news, but in this instance Karsnia's presence was not related—or, at least, not primarily related—to the workings of his digestive tract. He was there to investigate complaints about lewd conduct. Within minutes, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, Republican of Idaho—a state with little tolerance for lascivious conduct—peered into Karsnia's stall, entered the stall to Karsnia's left, and placed a roller bag in front. Craig then tapped his right foot and moved it close to Karsnia's. Karsnia interpreted this as an established signal for sexual solicitation (see police narrative below and on the following page), and replied in kind by raising and lowering his own foot. Craig then extended his fingers into Karsnia's stall. Karsnia placed his police identification by the floor where Craig could see it and pointed to the exit.

Craig resisted at first, but eventually he complied with his arrest. The senator was informed of his rights, interviewed on tape, photographed, fingerprinted, and released. Charged with violating Minnesota statutes against "interference with privacy" and "disorderly conduct," on Aug. 8 Craig pled guilty and paid a $575 fine. On Aug. 27 Roll Call Magazine broke the story. Sen. Craig responded with a short statement saying that his conduct was not inappropriate and that the police had misconstrued his actions. "In hindsight," he said, "I should not have pled guilty."

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