Larry Craig

Sen. Craig has no plans to return to Washington, D.C., anytime soon

Sen. Larry Craig has no plans to return to Washington, D.C., anytime soon, said spokesman Sid Smith.

As for criticism that his actions have become a distraction to Idaho’s interests in Washington, Smith said “obviously it would be ideal if Sen. Craig could be there and be a working member of the Senate right now. But we also have to remember, that by working to keep his seat, to fight the plea in Minnesota, he’s trying to also preserve Idaho’s influence in the Senate.”

Smith added that “if this situation were drag on and on into months, that wouldn’t serve Idaho well. That’s part of the reason he set the date of Sept. 30. If he is not able to clear his name, if he has to step aside, we are still currently preparing for a transition.”

Craig is working on setting up a legal defense fund, but hasn’t determined yet whether he will tap his campaign account to pay for lawyers.

The lawyer handling his ethics complaint, Stan Brand, said that under his interpretation of U.S. elections law, it’s legal to use campaign funds for a legal defense of anything connected to him as a candidate or officeholder.

Smith said that Craig is “disappointed in the lack of support that has been shown by his colleagues in Washington, D.C.”

Over the years, the senator has hit the campaign trail for his colleagues and has stepped aside when they wanted committee leadership posts he was also interested in assuming.

But “that doesn’t seem to have had an impact on anyone’s dissection to leave him twisting in the wind,” Smith said.