Sen. Craig Uses Campaign Money For Defense
The Republican Idaho Senator who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after soliciting sex in an airport bathroom has used about $23,000 in campaign funds to pay for a Washington lawyer to represent him before the Senate Ethics Committee.
Federal campaign finance laws prohibit legislators from using campaign money for expenses unrelated to their duties as an officeholder or candidate and Senator Larry Craig has for months argued that he shouldn’t be punished by the Senate because this case has nothing to do with his official acts as a lawmaker.
The three-term senator was arrested earlier this year by an undercover police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in the men’s public restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The graphic police report details how Senator Craig used well-known signals to proposition the officer to engage in lewd acts.
Craig subsequently pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a Hennepin County District Court and paid more than $500 in fines and fees. The Senate Ethics Committee launched an investigation and Craig has fought it vigorously with campaign dollars. In fact, he has said that he intends to use campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses related to the shameful incident.