Even if Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) is unable to withdraw his guilty plea in Minnesota, the sting operation that caught him may have been illegitimate, says the Washington Post. None of his gestures in an airport bathroom, in and of themselves, constitutes a crime. Craig, even by the officer’s account, did not expose himself or commit any other act that would have breached the law.
The Post editorializes that “it seems clear that he pleaded guilty because his priority was not exoneration but avoiding exposure. What’s troubling is that the sting operation may have been counting on just that sort of motivation in order to extract guilty pleas from men who, in fact, had done nothing explicitly lewd or illegal.” The newspaper says that “as with any other crime, those targeted and arrested for lewd or disorderly conduct ought first to be caught in a lewd or disorderly act. That wasn’t the case with Mr. Craig.”