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Craig’s Legal Team Takes Another Shot at Withdrawing Guilty Plea

Sen. Larry Craig’s (R-Idaho) legal team filed a brief Tuesday in the Minnesota Court of Appeals seeking to overturn a lower court’s ruling preventing him from withdrawing his guilty plea.

The brief argues that the Hennepin County district court “abused its discretion” by refusing to allow Craig to withdraw his guilty plea in a ruling on Oct. 4. Craig filed a notice of appeal on Oct. 15 and briefs were due on Jan. 8.

The state now has 45 days to respond.

“Pursuant to Minnesota law, there is an insufficient factual basis to support the finding that he is guilty of violating any laws while passing through the Minneapolis airport,” Craig attorney Billy Martin said in a statement. “Thus, we renew our arguments that it is manifestly unjust to deny Senator Craig’s request to withdraw his guilty plea.”

After allegedly being caught soliciting gay sex in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in June, Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and initially said he would resign from the Senate. Now, he says the plea was a mistake and has pledged to remain in the Senate through the end of his current term while fighting it.

— Rachel Van Dongen

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