Hoekstra was first:
A conservative House member from Michigan became the first lawmaker to call for Sen. Larry Craig’s resignation on Wednesday, and the White House expressed disappointment in the case of the Idaho senator caught in a men’s room undercover police operation.
GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra said Craig “represents the Republican party,” and called for his resignation “as his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator.”
Craig pleaded guilty in August to a charge of disorderly conduct following his arrest in a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport. He has since recanted his guilty plea, and said on Tuesday he did nothing wrong.
Senate Republican leaders have called on the ethics committee to review Craig’s case, and White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said he hoped the panel could do its work quickly.
“That would be in the best interests of the Senate and the people of Idaho,” he said.
McCain, and others, are joining the call:
Two Senate Republican colleagues, including John McCain, called Wednesday for Sen. Larry Craig to resign. The White House, too, expressed disappointment in the case of the Idaho Republican caught in a men’s room undercover police operation.
Arizona Sen. McCain and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, the state where Craig was arrested, became the first senators to join Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., urging Craig’s resignation.
McCain told CNN the decision was Craig’s to make, “but my opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn’t serve. That’s not a moral stand. That’s not a holier-than-thou. It’s just a factual situation.”
“I think he should resign,” McCain said.
Larry Craig is going to have to bail soon. There’s just no hope for the guy’s career. I’ll be surprised if he hangs in until Friday afternoon. Just do the right thing Senator. This is no time to stall.
CNN reports that “Sen. Larry Craig is stepping down from his committee assignments amid calls for his resignation from the Senate.” The Crypt’s Blog has more:
“Senator Larry Craig has agreed to comply with Leadership’s request that he temporarily step down as the top Republican on the Veteran Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, and Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests,” reads a statement from GOP leadership. “This is not a decision we take lightly but we believe this is in the best interest of the Senate until this situation is resolved by the Ethics Committee.”