Underscoring the volatility of the Larry Craig story, one of the senator's top attorneys told Politico this afternoon that Craig shouldn't step down Sept. 30 as long as his legal fight is ongoing.
"My view would be if something is proceeding on a good-faith basis, don't quit until it gets resolved — whether it takes 15 days or 50 days," said Stanley Brand, a Washington attorney who is part of a high-powered legal team assembled by Craig. "Come Sept. 30, if you don't have a resolution, wait for one. If the ethics committee wants to open a Pandora's box, bring it on."
Brand's comments highlight the competing legal and political pressures facing Craig, not to mention the competing advice he is likely receiving.
The three-term senator is working to clear his name through the legal system by seeking the withdrawal of his misdemeanor guilty plea from his arrest in a police sex sting operation. But to gain leverage in that arena, he's sent mixed messages about his intent to actually resign Sept. 30, angering many of his fellow Republican senators who simply want him to disappear.
After a day of harsh rhetoric from members of the GOP leadership, Craig spokesman Dan Whiting told The Associated Press this morning that the senator was likely to resign Sept. 30 -- unless, of course, he can clear his name, which is a long shot. Whiting insisted the statement was nothing new, but that didn't stop the political and media world from parsing it as another possible twist in the Craig saga. Maybe it is, but these days, it's really hard to tell.
Brand said the seemingly contradictory messages from day to day just reflects the fluidity of the situation.
"It is a roller coaster," Brand said.