Larry Craig

Craig hires attorneys, well-known crisis manager

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has hired three attorneys and a prominent Washington, D.C., crisis manager to fight for him in his legal case in Minnesota and defend his name in a Senate ethics inquiry.

Craig said today he would resign at the end of the month. He had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being arrested during a police investigation of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

D.C. attorney Billy Martin will investigate the "facts and the law" surrounding his arrest, with the help of Minneapolis attorney Tom Kelly.

"The public has heard the tape that was released by law enforcement officials in Minneapolis and is aware of the discrepancies between the Senator’s view of what he says actually occurred and the officer’s accusations," said newly hired spokeswoman Judy Smith in a press release today. "Unfortunately, Senator Craig did not seek legal counsel to discuss the Minneapolis incident before resolving the charges on his own. Senator Craig has served the people of Idaho with honor and distinction for the past 18 years."

In the same release, Martin said: "The arrest of any citizen raises very serious constitutional questions, especially when that citizen says that he is innocent and pled guilty in an attempt to avoid public embarrassment. Senator Craig, like every other American citizen, deserves the full protection of our laws. He has the right to pursue any and all legal remedies available as he begins the process of trying to clear his good name."

Craig announced on his Senate website that Stan Brand, with Brand Law Group, has been retained to handle issues pertaining to the Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Craig's arrest.

Smith, a crisis management expert with the company Impact Strategies, is also representing U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. He was indicted in June on bribery and racketeering charges for allegedly using his office to solicit bribes and for paying bribes to a foreign official.

Smith's best known previous client was Monica Lewinsky, the intern who said she had sex with President Bill Clinton in the White House.

Smith worked in communications for former President George H.W. Bush and counseled Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his nomination, when he was facing allegations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, his former assistant.