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Republican activists say senior U.S. lawmaker is considering resigning after restroom police sex sting

Republican activists say senior U.S. lawmaker is considering resigning after restroom police sex sting

A senior Republican senator is considering resigning, party activists said Friday, after days of public and private pressure stemming from his arrest in June in a police undercover sex sting at an airport men's room.
Sen. Larry Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Aug. 1, and while he has since said he did nothing wrong, the episode has roiled the Republican party and produced numerous calls for him to step down.
Republicans lost control of Congress in last November's elections, partly due to scandals, and are trying to regroup in preparation for the next round of voting, this time with the presidency at stake, in late 2008. Many conservatives, a signifcant base in the party, oppose homosexualtiy.
As a measure of the pressure Craig faces, party officials said a statement had been drafted at Republican Party headquarters calling for the veteran senator to resign. It was not issued, these officials said, in response to concerns that it might complicate quiet efforts under way to persuade the 62-year-old lawmaker to give up his seat.
Any resignation would clear the way for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, a Republican, to name a replacement who would serve until the end of Craig's current term in 2009. Lt. Gov. James Risch and Rep. Mike Simpson were among the possible replacements, according to the Republican activists, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Craig has not made any public statements about his case since an appearance earlier this week in Boise, Idaho, the conservative western state he represents, in which he said he had done nothing wrong. "I am not gay. I never have been gay," he added emphatically.
He said any additional comment would be posted on his official Web site, where the only reference to the incident as of Friday was a text of the statement he read before the television cameras.
Craig, 62, served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990, and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.
He was arrested on June 11 by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room who said the senator had engaged in conduct "often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."
Minutes after he was arrested for lewd conduct, Craig denied soliciting for sex, saying "I'm not gay. I don't do these kinds of things," according to an audio tape released by police on Thursday.


Updated : 2021-07-26 05:03 GMT+08:00