Friday, August 31, 2007

Once more, with substance

All right, one more thing on this Larry Craig thing before I say no more forever. Because this is a new story, there has been at least some perception that Craig's arrest is an open issue. Certainly some sources have it right, but to support my assertion I'll reference Tom DeLay on Hardball and CNN's own current headline: "Toobin: Entrapment defense rarely works in case like Craig's".

The funny thing is, in both cases, the media get it right in the end, but you have to dig through the whole piece to figure out what's actually going on. DeLay himself seems to want not to defend Craig, but to try to avoid admitting that Republicans ever do anything wrong, and Matthews rightly takes him to task for it. (In fact, DeLay's own "biased liberal media" defense seems to be so ingrained that he states that Chris Matthews is a liberal, which even Matthews seems to find ridiculous.)

Likewise, CNN's piece ends with the following information, starting in the 14th paragraph. (Emphasis mine.)

[CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin:] I don't mean to suggest that entrapment defense would have necessarily been successful, but it was not an implausible defense given the facts.

The whole issue is moot because he pled. I don't take seriously his protestations of entrapment because he pled guilty. You know, he's not innocent until proven guilty [at this point]. He's guilty.

He's an intelligent, sophisticated man with access to lawyers, and he actually told the authorities that he'd consulted a lawyer. He had weeks to reflect on whether to plead guilty.

It would have been one thing if the day of the offense, he signed a paper pleading guilty. He could have made the argument that he just panicked on the day of the offense. But there were weeks between the offense and the guilty plea. Is there any way that Craig could use entrapment as a defense to improve his case -- to work backward legally toward vindication?

TOOBIN: Out of the question. No way.

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