Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and John McCain (R-AZ) have become the first members of the Senate to call for Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign over his arrest for alleged “lewd conduct” in an airport bathroom. Craig, who was arrested in June, pled guilty to “disorderly conduct” charges on August 8, though the plea was kept secret until Roll Call newspaper broke the story on Monday.
The AP reports, “Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, where Craig was arrested, became the first Senate Republican to say Craig should leave office. ‘Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator,’ he said in a statement. ‘He should resign.’”
In an interview with CNN’s John King this afternoon, McCain said he thinks Craig “should resign”:
JOHN MCCAIN: I believe that he — that he pled guilty and he had the opportunity to plead innocent. So I think he should resign.
JOHN KING: And suppose he comes back to Washington and says, “I want to serve.”
MCCAIN: That’s — that will be a decision that he will make and most importantly, the people of the state of Idaho. But my opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, then you shouldn’t serve. And that’s not a moral stand. That’s not a holier than thou. It’s just a factual situation. I don’t try to judge people. but in this case, it’s clear that it was disgraceful.
Earlier, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) became the first lawmaker to call for Craig’s resignation.
UPDATE: At the Senate GOP leadership’s behest, Craig also stepped down today from his senior position on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as his ranking position on two subcommittees.